A FRAUDSTER has been acquitted because the crime he was accused of prescribed while he was in prison.
The estate agent was flagged as wanted by the National Police in May 2007, but they did not realize he was in prison, and he was not made to appear before a judge for charges of fraud, until October 2011.
Crimes considered “less serious” prescribe within three years.
In 2003, he sold a property to a foreign buyer who gave him a €7,500 deposit.
However, when the client attempted to contact him and pay the rest of the money, he found that the property had been sold by its owner to another person.
He did return the money to the buyer.
He was willing to accept the one-year prison sentence and agreed to pay the victim €3,000 in compensation.
However, his brother, who was a legal advisor in the sale, pointed out that the crime had prescribed and both men were acquitted.
In 2005 he was sentenced to two years in prison for a similar fraud, although in this case he had taken €126,000 and the British couple only received €6,000 back.