Key player in $2.1m ‘Irish Boys’ scam wins appeal
An "integral player" in the notorious Irish Boys scam will be released from prison two months early after successfully appealing his sentence in the state's highest court.
Convicted fraudster Daniel Alan East, 38, was one of four people jailed over the sophisticated boiler room scam that duped 160 people out of $2.1 million.
East along with his brother Aaron Colin East, Stiofan Ceitinn, and Neil John McKenny were all jailed after Queensland Police and the Crime and Corruption Commission invested $5 million and two years of police work into catching the scammers.
Victims across the country were persuaded by salespeople to fork out tens of thousands of dollars for sports betting and gold trading computer software that never worked.
The scammers set up fake competitor websites, magazine articles and reviews, and brochures with fabricated performance figures to dupe victims.
Daniel East made $282,000 from the scheme, his brother made $301,000, while Ceitinn pocketed $230,000 and McKenny took home $170,000 over the 20 months from January 2014 until August 2015.
In October last year, East was sentenced to six years' jail, to be released after serving 20 months, but he argued for a lesser term in the Queensland Court of Appeal.
The court was told that East had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud but denied during a contested sentenced that he was a "part owner" in the scheme.
The Court of Appeal ruled that there had been a "lack of procedural fairness" because the judge had used East's evidence to conclude that he had not shown any remorse.
East's appeal was granted and two months was shaved from his prison sentence.
He will now be eligible for parole after serving 18 months.
In October last year, Ceitinn and Aaron East were each sentenced to eight years' jail, to be eligible for parole after serving two-and-a-half years, for their role in the scam.
Another person, Theresa Faye Merlehan, 64, was given a three-year suspended after she admitted to working as a salesperson in the scheme for two months.
McKenny was sentenced in 2018 to a lesser term of five and a half years' jail, with a parole eligibility after 20 months, because of his increased co-operation with authorities.
Originally published as Key player in $2.1m 'Irish Boys' scam wins appeal