Gambling Addict Scammed Acquaintance’s €56,000 Inheritance

A gambling addict from Cork who managed to squeeze every single euro out of his acquaintance’s €56,000 ($59,000) inheritance told the court that every time he had closed his BoyleSports account, the operator enticed him back to gambling with free €50 ($53) bets.

Gambling Addiction Led to Crime

48-year-old Thomas O’Connell stood in court facing 260 charges of theft by deception and pleaded guilty to a series of sample counts on the indictment against him. Judge Helen Boyle from Cork City Criminal Court ordered O’Connell to stay in custody until June 30 to wait for his sentence, reported the Irish Examiner.

O’Connell carried 260 thefts in the space of two years between January 2017 and January 2019, the court was told by Detective Garda Stephen Fuller who was investigating the case. The victim of the scam was a 66-year-old male who came to Cork city about 20 years ago and met O’Connell through work.

According to Fuller, everything started when the victim’s mother died leaving the victim €56,000 ($59,000). It was then when O’Connell started approaching the victim for loans. After a few loans that were duly returned, O’Connell created the idea in the victim’s mind that any loan will be repaid and then started requesting loans regularly.

But when the victim provided O’Connell with his bank details to facilitate the return of the loans, O’Connell changed tactics to continue taking the victim’s money until it was all gone. For that purpose, he began calling the victim on the phone and impersonating a prominent Cork city solicitor.

The ‘Pay to Avoid Investigation’ Con

O’Connell scammed the victim to send money to two accounts he set up, falsely stating that he and O’Connell were under investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau and if there was no payment, the bureau would move against him.

Contact with the victim was maintained on a daily basis, sometimes even several times a day, as O’Connell later admitted, until he managed to take all of the victim’s money. Money was sent to a personal bank account and a BoyleSports account, both in O’Connell’s name.

O’Connell also told investigators he knew the solicitor he had impersonated from being one of his clients and perpetrated the scam to satisfy his gambling and alcohol addictions.

The scam was uncovered after the victim ran out of money and called the solicitor’s office to inform the solicitor that the payments would not continue. After a visit to the office, the victim was told he had been conned and was advised to contact the Irish police.

Defense senior counsel Ray Boland told the court that the defendant had closed his BoyleSports account several times trying to cope with his addiction but then was sent free €50 ($53) bets by the operator to re-open the account and continue gambling, something the detective investigating the case confirmed.

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