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Bank staff handed out cash to thief without ID check

May 2nd, 2022 11:40 AM

By Southern Star Team

The Bank of Ireland in Skibbereen was among the branches duped, the court heard. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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A 38-YEAR-old man used his ‘intelligence and guile’ to obtain the birth certs of two West Cork men and then impersonated them to steal money from their bank accounts at various Bank of Ireland branches across Munster, a court heard last week.

The 20 thefts by Kieran Toussifar were outlined at Bandon District Court after the court heard that the defendant was able to go to various banks and withdraw cash without any ID or a bank card. He used only the details on the birth certs of both men to dupe bank staff.

Mr Toussifar of Oscars’ Hostel, Lower Glanmire Road, Cork city pleaded guilty to all the charges.

The matter only came to light when gardaí received complaints from two men that money had been withdrawn from their bank accounts without their knowledge.

Gardaí arrested and questioned Toussifar on the matter, and found the slip from one of his withdrawals in his wallet. He was wearing a cap similar to one captured on CCTV at the Bank of Ireland in Skibbereen.

Sgt Paul Kelly said that on October 14th last, Michael O’Brien from Dumanway reported to gardaí that various sums of  money had been withdrawn from his bank account without his knowledge.

The court heard that the first theft occurred in Ennis on July 23rd last when €20 was withdrawn by Mr Toussifar from Mr O’Brien’s account, and this continued for several months at various branches in Skibbereen, Mallow and the South Mall in Cork city. The amounts stolen ranged from €20 to €300 on some occasions and the total amount stolen was €2,070.

However, Sgt Kelly said that there were two occasions where the bank refused the withdrawal of cash, namely at Bandon on October 22nd  last and Skibbereen on November 19th last

The court then heard that on September 18h last, Morgan Noonan from Bantry reported to gardaí that €3,000 was withdrawn from a Bank of Ireland bank account in his name, without his permission.

‘He was told that a man walked into the bank and withdrew €3,000 and he suspected the man to be the defendant as he had done the same to his parents and brother before and had been in foster care with them when he was younger,’ said Sgt Kelly.

The court heard that on November 8th last a male entered the bank branch in Eyre Square in Galway and impersonated Mr Noonan and withdrew €300. Other attempts were made to withdraw money in branches in Bandon, Clonakilty and Killarney.

The court heard that the defendant had personal information on the two men as he was known to them through foster care and he used their details – including their date and place of birth – and applied for a new birth cert for both men.

Mr Toussifar was arrested on December 6th last in Killarney and made full admissions and the court was told that a total of €3,400 was withdrawn from Mr Noonan’s account.

The court heard that Mr Toussifar had 47 previous convictions including 16 for burglary, six for theft, one for robbery and six for criminal damage and that these offences before the court were committed while he was on a suspended sentence imposed in 2020 for similar offences.

Defence solicitor Ray Hennessy said that his client has not had an easy time and that the term ‘nobody’s child’ would apply to him, as he went into care at the age of nine.

‘He has had no guidance in his life and he got into trouble at an early age and had substance abuse issues. He was aware of these two men and used the information he had to his advantage,’ said Mr Hennessy, who said it was quite extraordinary that the bank handed over the money to his client.

Judge James McNulty said he felt sorry for the two victims and that the defendant was able to use his ‘intelligence and guile’ to obtain birth certs for them and then use them to steal money from their accounts. ‘It wasn’t just one person, he stole money from two people,’ he said.

He sentenced Mr Toussifar to a total of 20 months in prison  – and remanded him in custody to appear at Cork City District Court at a future date, on the charge of committing the offences while on a suspended sentence.

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