A 23-year-old woman faced the Brisbane District court last week for stealing more than $30,000. The victims, as it turns out, were not all that innocent – they were running an Internet car sales scam.
Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramsey was employed by a group of Nigerians to act as an “agent”. She provided the group with her Australian bank account details. Victims were supposed to transfer money to her account and then she was supposed to send it onto her employers, minus an 8% commission – which doesn’t seem like much for making oneself a patsy, but I digress. At any rate, things did not go according to plan, Sarah received two payments totaling $33,350 – and apparently spent most of it… on herself.
Perhaps the Nigerians in question should have checked her criminal record. Her judge examined it and described her as having a “dishonest bent” – something to do with the string of stealing and property offenses she had to her name.
The police caught up with Cochrane-Ramsey when the car buyers who never received their cars reported the matter to the police. The police followed the money trail and it led right back to Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramsey’s bank account – which would have happened eventually anyway. The thing is, if Cochrane-Ramsey had done what she was supposed to, the same thing would have ended up happening. There were no cars to begin with – so even if Cochran-Ramsey had made the payment as she was supposed to, she would still have had some explaining to do.
Given that fact, one might be tempted to feel sympathetic for the young woman. The thing was, she thought that she was working for a legitimate business and the money that she stole was from people who thought they were customers – luckily for them a second scammer entered the loop, because I’m guessing that it would be a lot harder to get any money back if it had been transferred to Nigeria as per plan.
Cochrane-Ramsey pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated fraud. The case has been adjourned to allow her time try to pay back some of the money. [News.com.au]