A Australian woman in Brisbane fleeced Nigerian scam artists by stealing more than $30,000 from their internet car sales racket, a court has been told.
Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramsey, 23, was employed by the Nigerians as an “agent” in March 2010 but was unaware they were scam artists, the Brisbane District Court heard today.
Her job was to provide an Australian bank account through which they could funnel any payments they received through their dodgy account on a popular car sales website.
Cochrane-Ramsey was to keep eight per cent of all money paid into her account and forward the rest to the Nigerian scammers.
The court heard that she kept the two payments she received – totalling $33,350 – and spent most of it on herself.
The car buyers who were ripped off reported the matter to police, who traced the account to Cochrane-Ramsey.
Police inquiries found her employers were based in Nigeria but had been using a web server in New York to run their dodgy car sales listings.
Cochrane-Ramsey pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated fraud on Thursday.
Judge Terry Martin described her as having a “dishonest bent” after hearing she had a history of stealing and property offences.
He adjourned the sentence to allow her time to provide further details of money she claimed was in a bank account that would allow her to make some repayments.
Cochrane-Ramsey will be sentenced next month.
She was allowed bail until then.