A Scottish man whose “cack-handed” attempt to lodge a counterfeit €580,000 bank draft was spotted by an eagle-eyed bank teller has been jailed for two years.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Jagpal Alsingh (50) had been a hardworking family man whose life “unravelled”.
Alsingh, of Albion Road, Glasgow pleaded guilty to having a counterfeit bank draft in the sum of €568,100 in his custody at Bank of Ireland, O Connell Street on September 2, 2019 and producing a fake bank draft at Dublin Airport on May 14, 2019.
Alsingh, who has no previous convictions, has been in custody since his arrest last September.
Defence counsel, Padraig Dwyer SC, said Alsingh and his wife had run a laundry business together until they separated. Alsingh then began a new relationship and started working as a “consultant.
He said his client's life “went off the rails” and he now finds himself imprisoned in a foreign jurisdiction having been involved in “a very cack handed exercise”.
Mr Dwyer said Alsingh appeared to be a hard-working family man whose life has “unravelled.” He said he seems to have reached rock bottom and hopefully this will be a wake-up call.
Judge Martin Nolan said it appeared Alsingh needed money on the day and procured some forged bank drafts which he attempted to lodge just before closing time but a “competent official” spotted it was not genuine.
He noted Alsingh's guilty plea, co-operation, testimonials and previously productive life. He took into account that to be put in prison at Alsingh's age is traumatic.
Judge Nolan imposed a two-year sentence which he backdated to when Alsingh went into custody.
Detective Gerard Carmondy told Michael Hourigan BL, prosecuting, that Bank of Ireland contacted gardaí in relation to an attempt by Alsingh to lodge a draft at Bank of Ireland Dublin Airport on May 14, 2019. The draft was queried by the bank and retained. No loss was incurred.
The court heard the investigation found that Alsingh had opened a Bank of Ireland account in February 2019 with a fake utility bill to provide him with an address.
Det Gda Carmody said Alsingh was due to meet officials at Bank of Ireland on September 2, 2019 and was arrested when he arrived later that day. He was searched and an identical bank draft in the same amount of money was found on him.
Alsingh admitted setting up the bank account with false documentation but initially told gardai he was unaware the drafts were fake and suggested he had been tricked into using them.
Det Gda Carmondy agreed with Mr Dwyer that the bank teller told gardai that the draft “did not look real” as the colour was off. She said Alsingh had come in late “trying to rush her” and she knew something “dodgy” was going on.
The draft was later analysed and found to be missing a hologram as well as using the incorrect ink and colouring.