Fraudster worked on property tax helpline

A former Abtran employee operating the Revenue’s property tax helpline yesterday admitted charges of inducing members of the public to give bank card details by deception.

Jonathan Gough, of De Burgh, Glyntown, Glanmire, Co Cork, pleaded guilty yesterday at Cork District Court to four fraud offences at Abtran in University Technology Park, Curraheen, Cork, in May.

The 22-year-old admitted fraud offences whereby he obtained bank and credit card details from people inquiring about filing their local property tax returns.

Insp John Deasy said Gough began working on Apr 27 for Abtran, which was operating a property tax helpline for the Revenue Commissioners.

Between May 1 and May 9, Gough dealt with approximately 750 phone queries from the public about the tax and, in some of these cases, he asked people for their bank and credit card details. Insp Deasy said Gough was not entitled to do this, and nor was he entitled to use some of the credit card details to attempt online purchases. The purchases were declined and no one was at a financial loss.

Insp Deasy confirmed that Gough admitted the offences once he was confronted by gardaí and co-operated fully with detectives when they interviewed him about the offences.

Defence solicitor Daithí Ó Donnabhain applied for an adjournment of sentencing so he could obtain a medical report on Gough.

Judge Leo Malone granted the application and ordered a probation report on Gough, who was remanded on continuing bail to appear on Jan 15 for sentence.

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