Student used scam to get phones he then sold online

A South African student who ran out of money in Cork set up an elaborate scam for getting phones through fraudulent bill-pay schemes and then selling them on the internet.

Detective Garda Anne Flynn who investigated the fraud said that Brandon Abrahams got false driving licences and utility bills with various Cork addresses for the purpose of obtaining bill-pay phones.

The fraudulent activity was investigated following a complaint from a member of staff at the 3 network about a man committing fraud with mobile phone contracts.

Det Garda Flynn said, “I commenced an investigation. A search warrant was obtained. The property he was residing in was searched. Essentially what he did was he obtained false driving licences and utility bills from the internet. He used these false licences and utility bills to enter into phone contracts.

“Generally, €550 Samsung phones were obtained. He would also report the phones lost and he would get a replacement phone. He sold phones on the internet.

“The total number of phones was valued at over €6,600. On two occasions, he reported phones lost. He called to Anglesea Street and the Bridewell garda stations to do this.”

The detective agreed with Det Garda Flynn that the accused man co-operated with the investigation and pleaded guilty to various offences and that this obviated the necessity for a trial.

Abrahams, of The Annex, 4 Nursery View, Glasheen Road, Cork, was charged by Detective Garda Anne Flynn with 22 charges.

Ten of the counts related to the alleged acquiring of phones by deception such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 from various phone shops, mainly at three stores in Cork, Dublin and Clonmel. Other charges are related to using false documentation related to these offences.

Abrahams yesterday apologised for his actions at Cork Circuit Criminal Court .

“I came here six years ago. I was in a very volatile situation in South Africa. My mother suffers from bi-polar. My parents separate. I was not able to pay my fees. I was not entitled to social welfare or any benefits or any supports.

“I have been in prison for six or seven weeks. I don’t have any plans of reoffending in the future. It is my first time in prison. It has opened my eyes.”

Judge Gerard O’Brien remanded the accused in custody until June 8 for a probation report.


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