A Romanian man who was collecting €3000 a month in benefits scammed two elderly pensioners of more than €300,000, cleaning out their life-savings, the Cork Criminal Circuit Cork heard.
Brudut Iosca (38) of Relic Road, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath conned two separate pensioners after he told them various sob stories and repeatedly preyed on their good nature and kindness. He then blew the €300,000 he had stolen from them on gambling.
His false tales of woe included being evicted, having a terminal diagnosis of cancer and needing treatment abroad, and having a parent abroad who was very ill.
A woman in her seventies first met Iosca when he was begging on the streets of Dún Laoghaire. He claimed he was from Iran and began to repeatedly contact her with tales of woe, claiming he was desperate and in dire straits.
The pensioner then began to pay Iosca monthly amounts paying him monthly installments.
He preyed on the woman from 2012 to 2019, telling her he needed money to attend his mother’s funeral abroad amongst other lies. Garda discovered his mother was alive and well and living in Ireland.
In 2017, he began to demand more from the woman, claiming he had cancer and required treatment abroad. The woman had, at this point, given him her entire life savings, but she took out a loan of €15,000 to give to Iosca which she is still paying back in installments of more than €300 a month.
In total Iosca scammed the woman to the sum of €123,000 over the seven year period.
In addition, between October 2017 to August 2018, he repeatedly made up lies and hard-luck stories to con a 69-year-old man out of his life savings of more than €200,000. Iosca worked to build up a rapport with the man, who had him for dinner in his home at one point. The man eventually approached the Gardai when Iosca asked for a further sum of €100,000 for a house in Serbia, presenting fake emails from a solicitor to bolster his case.
At this point the man had given the con-artist more than €207,000. The request for another €100,000 caused him to go to the Garda station. When the Gardai examined Iosca’s bank statements they discovered the other con.
Gardai enquiries found that Iosca the man was in receipt of €3,000 a month in State benefits including disability, rent allowance and free travel – and that he also had a medical card.
Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Iosca has lived in Ireland for 20 years and is both a father and grandfather. Sgt Ailish Murphy told the court that Iosca had “perfected his craft over a seven year period.”
Judge Sean O’Donnabhain said that the victims had been “devastated” by the crimes of Mr Iosca, and that the penionsers were left “humiliated, degraded and impoverished.”
He jailed Iosca for six years on November 6th.