A convicted fraudster, described as a "brilliant and bright conman", has been given a six-year suspended sentence by Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, after he undertook to voluntarily leave the jurisdiction as soon as it could be arranged.
Judge Frank O’Donnell advised Andrew Jacobs (aged 34), from Nigeria but with addresses at Priory Green and Priory Way in Cellbridge and at Ashtown Road in Castleknock, that if he returns to Ireland "under any identity" within the next six years, he will be sent to prison to serve those six years.
Jacobs used four different aliases to secure a car loan and credit cards, costing the institutions involved €10,930.
Jacobs pleaded guilty to 10 charges of providing false and misleading information and three charges of obtaining credit under false pretences from various institutions around Dublin on dates between 29 August and 31 October 2001.
He finished a four-year sentence on January 16 for similar fraudulent charges and larceny.
Detective Garda Mairead Doyle told Ms Pauline Walley SC, that on November 2, 2001, a shop that had sold Jacobs a wide screen Panasonic TV, worth €2,676, contacted gardaí to advise that he had used a false credit card to purchase it.
The taxi driver, who gave Jacobs a lift from the shop with the TV, then came forward with his address. Gardaí found the TV set at his home and arrested Jacobs.
Det Garda Doyle said that on October 31, 2001, Jacobs used the alias ‘Francis Bernard’ to get a loan from Car Finance Direct for a Volkswagen Polo valued at £7,500. The car was never recovered.
Jacobs bought a set of alloy wheels on October 27, 2001 for €1,070, using a credit card in the name of ‘David Galvin’, which he had obtained fraudulently. They were also never recovered.
Det Garda Doyle told Ms Walley that Jacobs also used a counterfeit English passport and a counterfeit driving license to open various bank accounts in Dublin.
He said Jacobs had worked with UPS, a package delivery company, using the ‘Francis Bernard’ alias and had claimed to another bank that he was working with Hewlett Packard. It was later discovered that he never worked for Hewlett Packard.
Det Garda Doyle said that Jacobs initially denied the allegations and told gardaí that the aliases he had used were friends and he was allowing them to use his address for correspondence. It transpired from the investigation that none of these people actually existed.
Det Garda Doyle told Ms Walley that the total loss to the institutions was €10,930 but she accepted that Jacobs had paid €4,000 compensation to the institutions.
Ms Aileen Donnelly SC (with Ms Marie Torrens BL) defending, told Judge O’ Donnell that her client had made a cheque for €4,000 payable to the Bank of Scotland, the financiers for Car Finance Direct.
Ms Donnelly added that her client was expected to get an inheritance from a relative in Nigeria to allow him to fully compensate the institutions but this turned out not to be available to him.
She said that Jacobs had used his time in custody to rehabilitate and re-educate himself and had applied to DIT to study for a MSc in applied computer technology.
Jacobs was remanded in custody until such time as his deportation documentation can be arranged. His sentence was backdated to June 22, 2004 when he first went into prison for the offence.