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Aberystwyth: ‘Money troubles’ caused law student carried out frauds

Swansea Crown Court
Swansea Crown Court

A FORMER Aberystwyth law student who carried out a series of frauds after getting into debt has today received a suspended prison sentence.

Caroline Murichu, who cheated colleagues working at the university’s Varsity pub and a customer,was told it would be better to keep her out of jail and working so she could repay the stolen money.

Murichu, aged 22, who now lives with her parents in Sussex, admitted six offences of fraud and two of theft.

Ian Ibrahim, prosecuting, told Swansea crown court that she used several different methods to defraud her victims.

She told a friend, Michael Bates, that she had trouble with her bank card and asked if she could transfer £350 into his account and withdraw it in cash.

After he had given Murichu the money he discovered it had come from Quick Quid, a payday loan firm, and that Quick Quid were now taking regular repayments from his account.

Leanne Taylor, aged 23, found that Wonga had transferred £400 into her account. After investigations were made she found that there had been three other attempts to obtain loans in her name.

One of them provided police with an ex-mail address that led to Murichu. After her arrest she was searched and found to have a bank card in the name of Sophie Parr, who had visited the Varsity and paid by card.

Megan Wiggins, who worked at the pub, agreed to go on a holiday organised by Murichu, who promptly overcharged her by £152.

Another bar worker, Ruth Kitchen, discovered that two payments had been made from her account to Holiday Hypermarket just days before Murichu had jetted off to Greece.

Murichu’s barrister, Angela Ricciardi, said she had owed £26,000 in student loans as well as other debts.

Murichu now made £1,300 a month working in an insurance company’s call centre and could repay the stolen money, which totalled £878.

The judge, Mr Recorder Petts, said Murichu had tricked friends and colleagues and had now brought shame on herself and her family.

Murichu, now of 34 Cherry Lane, Crawley, west Sussex, was jailed for 24 weeks, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.

She was also ordered to complete 10 sessions of a thinking skills course and to repay in full the £878 at the rate of £250 a month.

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Dayne Stone

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