A man who laundered £28,000 from a bogus builder work on a pensioner has been jailed for 12 months.

Gary Curran, 54, received three cheques which he tried to withdraw from banks in Glasgow and Renfrewshire between 12th and 19th September 2019.

This was monies made payable to Curran for roofing work done by apparent Irish travellers for 76-year-old James Moodie at his home in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.

Curran told police that he was paid £500 per cheque in order for his bank account to be used to store the cash.

Curran – of the city’s Darnley – also admitted that he knew something was “not right.”

He pled guilty at Glasgow Sheriff Court to acquiring, using and possession of £28,000 which was criminal property.

The court heard that Mr Moodie had roofing work carried out on his home in September 2020.

It was stated that Curran was not part of the workmen.

Prosecutor John Bedford added: “However, the workmen asked Mr Moodie to send a total of three cheques – two for £10,000 and one for £8,000 – to be made out to Gary Curran.”

Curran went to the bank on numerous occasions to withdraw £9,000 from each the two £10,000 cheques.

Staff were suspicious when he tried to lift a final £4,500 from the £8,000 cheque and was told he was not allowed.

Police were contacted and officers spoke with Mr Moodie.

Mr Bedford said: “He informed officers that he was approached by workmen about work being completed on his roof.

“They advised he needed work carried out and he agreed but he was of the opinion that it consisted of replacing a few roof tiles.”

Curran was traced meantime where he “spoke freely” that he had “worked for people described as Gypsies .”

He stated that he did landscaping work for them but was not involved in roofing nor attended Mr Moodie’s home.

Mr Bedford added: “He said cheques would be paid into his bank account and he would withdraw the money and hand it over.

“He said he was unemployed and struggling financially and agreed to become involved in this venture and for every cheque he would be paid £500 in payment.”

Campbell Porter, defending, told the court that Curran’s motivation was that he was “short of money.”

The lawyer added: “He did some work for Irish travellers who offered him landscape work for £60 a day.

“They said they would pay £500 for cheques to his bank account.

“He didn’t know what they were doing and had no reason to be suspicious but during the interview with police he said something was not right.”

Sheriff Matthew Jackson QC stated that the Crown had distanced Curran from being part of “bogus builders” but was involved in “laundering this money.”

He said: “You would have known £500 per cheque was wrong and you should not have involved yourself in this.

“A non-custodial disposal would have sent out a wrong message to those who become used by these people as you were for your bank account.

“I’m satisfied that a custodial sentence is appropriate in this case.”

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