A man who allowed his bank account to be used to steal more than £4000 in two separate scams has been sentenced.
Mitica Agigeanu, age 39, of St Peters Road, Great Yarmouth, appeared before Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (8 June 2022) and pleaded guilty to two counts of entering into or being concerned in the acquisition/retention or use or control of criminal property.
He received a community order of 200 hours community service and was ordered to pay a total of £4798 in compensation to the two victims.
The court heard how Agigeanu’s bank account details were given to two victims by a bogus caller who telephoned them on 3 September 2020 claiming to be from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and The Royal Courts of Justice.
The caller said they owed money following a tax miscalculation and they risked arrest and a fine of £75,000 if they didn’t pay up.
Believing the telephone calls were genuine, the victims – a 37-year-old man and a 45-year-old man – paid £2906 and £1892 into the “HMRC” bank account that belonged to Agigeanu.
The court heard how Agigeanu’s bank account showed regular and legitimate activity until 19 April 2019 but then lay dormant until 31 August 2020. It was then used between 31 August to 5 September 2020. Transactions stopped again after 5 September 2020.
PC David Moran, who worked on the investigation, said: “Agigeanu may not have benefitted financially from these scams but he was happy to hand over the details of a bank account he no longer used, no doubt in return for money, for someone else to use to trick people out of thousands of pounds.
“It’s right that he held accountable for his part in this crime, and I hope it offers some reassurance that we take this type of fraud very seriously, and will act, investigate and prosecute anybody involved in stealing money from others.”
People are reminded that:
- Telephone numbers and text messages can easily be spoofed. You should never trust the number you see on your telephone display.
- Recognise the signs – genuine organisations like banks and HMRC will never contact you out of the blue to ask for your PIN, password or bank details.
- HMRC will call people about outstanding tax bills, and sometimes use automated messages, however this would include a taxpayer reference number. If uncertain about the caller, hang up and call HMRC directly to check.
- If you receive a suspicious cold call, end it immediately.
- For up to date advice on scam HMRC phone calls, please visit: Examples of HMRC related phishing emails, suspicious phone calls and texts – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For further advice or to report fraud and cybercrime, head to the Action Fraud website: www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.