Court Rejects Swedish Man's Appeal in €600,000 Credit Card Scam Case

The Court of Appeal rejected a Swedish man's appeal to stop the transfer of €600,000 to the Irish State, seized in 2002 as part of a credit card scam investigation. The ruling ends one of CAB's longest-running cases, over two decades after the money was initially seized.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Court Rejects Swedish Man's Appeal in €600,000 Credit Card Scam Case

Court Rejects Swedish Man's Appeal in €600,000 Credit Card Scam Case

The Court of Appeal has rejected a Swedish man's appeal to stop the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) from transferring €600,000 to the Irish State. The money, seized in 2002 as part of a credit card scam investigation, was linked to Harry Zeman, director of the Swedish company Routeback Media.

Why this matters: This case highlights the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat organized crime and fraud, and demonstrates the importance of international cooperation in tracking and prosecuting cross-border criminal activities. The successful prosecution of such cases can help to deter future fraudulent activities and protect consumers from financial losses.

In 2002, Routeback Media launched an internet sales business selling email accounts worldwide for $9.95. The credit card transactions were processed by an Irish company, EuroConex, which became suspicious due to an unusually high number of transactions - 80,000 in a matter of days. Many transactions were rejected by banks for reasons such as stolen cards, invalid account numbers, or insufficient funds.

Three American banks reported the transactions as fraudulent, leading EuroConex to terminate its contract with Routeback and report the company to authorities. CAB claimed Harry Zeman had "ties to organised crime" and convictions in Sweden for drug-dealing. The bureau alleged that Zeman's brother, Kristian, was involved in creating fraudulent credit card numbers and fled Sweden after discovery.

Investigations by Swiss police found €100,000 in a Swiss bank account linked to Kristian Zeman. Harry Zeman denied links to organised crime, claiming his drug convictions related to personal drug use. He said his brother did not flee Sweden but rather went to Australia to attend university, presenting documents showing Kristian's employment as a law clerk and judge in Swedish courts.

Zeman appealed to stop the transfer of the €600,000 to the Irish State, citing legitimate business activities. However, the Court of Appeal dismissed his legal arguments on Friday and awarded costs against him, with Mr. Justice Donald Binchy delivering the judgment. The ruling ends one of CAB's longest-running cases, over two decades after the money was initially seized.

Key Takeaways

  • Court of Appeal rejects Swedish man's appeal to stop CAB from transferring €600,000 to Irish State.
  • Money seized in 2002 as part of credit card scam investigation linked to Harry Zeman and Routeback Media.
  • Zeman alleged to have ties to organized crime, with convictions in Sweden for drug-dealing.
  • Investigations found €100,000 in Swiss bank account linked to Zeman's brother, Kristian.
  • Court of Appeal dismisses Zeman's appeal, awarding costs against him, ending 20-year case.