Eastwood student laundered £80,000 from online “phishing” scam to pay drug debts
An Eastwood student who set up bank accounts to launder more than £80,000 of cash scammed through a ‘phishing’ scheme was paying off drugs debts, a court has heard.
Police raided Trimaine Bailey's home on Lynncroft, in 2018, where they found cocaine and heroin, as well as evidence he was dealing cannabis, prosecutor Stephen Donnelly said.
He described how Bailey set up accounts in his own name, as well as others, to disperse money scammed from one company and four individuals, over five months in 2018.
The ‘phishing’ scam involved other criminals hijacking email accounts and diverting legitimate money transfers that were intended to pay bills.
In one instance £7,650 was taken from a woman booking a holiday for her 30th wedding anniversary. Another victim faced the risk of bankruptcy after £50,000 was stolen.
A sim card, bank cards and documents linked Bailey to a scheme which had "an international aspect," Mr Donnelly said, adding that Bailey played a "significant role at the coal face."
Bailey spent the money he received on electrical items, commputers and jewellery, Nottingham Crown Court was told.
James Horne, mitigating, said Bailey, who has no previous convictions, showed genuine remorse, and is now working and free of drugs.
His probation report “showed positive features” and there were a "raft of positive character references," he said.
“He was relatively young man at the time and he has not offended for three years. He is determined to tackle his addiction which was the root of his offending.
“The victims in this case have been treated appallingly. I don't seek to undermine it.”
But he said Bailey allowed himself to be used and “his name was above the door of the money laundering, and those above him remain shrouded in anonymity.”
“They will evade justice,” Mr Horne said. Imprisoning Bailey would impact on his partner and young son, he added.
Bailey, 24, now of Liddington Street, Nottingham, admitted five counts of acquiring criminal property, possession of Class A and B drugs and possession with intent to supply Class B drugs, when he appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court, in March .
On Thursday, Judge Steven Coupland sentenced him to 24 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work and a three-month curfew.