Gambler who passed counterfeit notes risks jail

A 34-year-old man who passed €1,000 in counterfeit notes in a car deal which fell through has been warned to compensate his victim, or face jail.

The deal involved a van which was advertised online, and at no stage was a receipt either sought or given, the Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee was told yesterday.

Daniel Harty, of Lake-view Villas, Knoppogue, Killarney, pleaded guilty to passing counterfeit €50 notes to Thomas McDonnell from Co Clare, and theft of €1,000 from Mr McDonnell.

Mr McDonnell responded to a mobile phone number attached to an advertisement for a van on Donedeal.ie and arrived in Killarney on September 9, 2011, with a €1,000 deposit for the €3,200 06 vehicle.

Harty said he needed the van for two days. He took the cash. However, two days later, Harty said the van was no longer for sale. Harty gave Mr McDonnell back €1,000 in €50 notes, Sgt Leo Randles told prosecutor Tom Rice at yesterday’s sentencing hearing.

A few days later, Mr McDonnell spotted the €50 notes were counterfeit and alerted gardaí.

Defence barrister John O’Sullivan said his client has “a ferocious, insidious, and corrosive gambling problem”.

Judge Carroll Moran said this was “a nasty offence”.

“The victim will have to be compensated, otherwise it is prison,” he warned, adjourning the matter for a number of weeks.


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