Bank ordered to restore money swindled by Ballybofey fraudster

A judge today ordered a bank to restore €32,600 scammed from a middle-aged woman by a fraudster who once ran a company called Pear Shaped Resources.

Peter Nolan, counsel for the woman, Sharman Duncan, said that during the man’s trial €32,606 owned by her was traced to an account run by Thomas Elvin in the Ulster Bank.

Elvin at a trial last December was convicted of depriving Ms Duncan and a number of other victims of €177,000.

He was remanded on bail for sentence at Donegal Circuit Court tomrrow(Tues).

Ms Duncan made her application for money defrauded from her at Donegal District Court today.

Mr Nolan told Judge Kevin Kilrane that Ms Duncan invested more than €100,000, her whole life savings, with Elvin, of Meencargagh, Ballybofey. There was no issue that €32,606 in the Ulster Bank belonged to Ms Duncan.

He added that there should not be any delay in the matter, that Ms Duncan was entitled to have the money back.

Judge Kilrane ordered the bank to pay the money to Ms Duncan, but he put a month’s stay on the order, pending any development during 51-year-old Elvin’s sentencing at the Circuit Court.

Elvin’s trial last December heard how he operated his con through a Florida Internet contact and his company called Pear Shaped Resources based in the British Virgin Islands.

He operated the fraud on a computer at his 17-acre farm outside Ballybofey.

Ms Duncan, who knew Elvin from their teens when they met at Church of Ireland dances, was the worst-hit of his victims.

She gave up her job at Magee clothing factory in Donegal town to care for her elderly parents who had since died. She invested her father’s insurance policy through Elvin and received no return for her money.

© Highland Radio 2012