An “inept” crook tried to cash a fake cheque for thousands of pounds at an Angus bank after being scammed during his bid to become a male escort in his 40s.
Frank Munro told police he received the £4,800 cheque out of the blue after registering with an escort agency.
However, the 45-year-old’s attempt to cash it failed spectacularly when drunken Munro presented the obvious fake to a teller at Arbroath’s Bank of Scotland branch.
He has now been ordered to carry out unpaid work by a sheriff who said Munro’s “bizarre” offence was doomed to fail from the beginning.
The court heard the cheque was issued in the name of a company called Supplies for Schools but looked like a photocopy.
Staff were immediately suspicious when it could not be put through the bank’s scanning system.
The bank teller described Munro as under the influence of alcohol and in a rush.
She said she would have to speak to her manager but the accused said he could not wait and left the Brothock Bridge branch.
The bungling criminal was easily traced because he had given his own bank card details to the employee in the attempt to pay the counterfeit cheque into his account.
Munro later said he had received the cheque by post and was threatened by email to cash it.
Accused admitted January 2019 offence
The accused, of Clergy Street, Macduff admitted uttering as genuine the fraudulent cheque for £4,800 on January 21 2019 at the Bank of Scotland in Arbroath.
Defence solicitor Billy Rennie said: “His position is that he went to the bank drunk and provided all the details they needed.
“Clearly there was a suspicion at the time that he had maybe got lucky and was taking advantage of the situation.
“His own explanation is that he had registered for an escort agency for which he would be providing escort services.
“That didn’t come to any great fruition in Macduff.
“He had received emails saying he should cash it – it sounded like some sort of scam.
“He stupidly went along under the influence and divulged his own personal details, which perhaps reveals his naivety in all of this.
“I appreciate the attempt was to take a significant amount of money but it was an attempt in which he was at the centre of something else going on and it was a pretty naïve attempt.”
Sheriff warns Munro of custody risk
Sheriff Derek Reekie told Munro: “It is a bizarre set of circumstances.
“Goodness knows what you were thinking and how this cheque came into your possession.
“It is mysterious to say the least.
“Your highly inept attempt to get this money was bound to be discovered.
“However inept it was, it merits a custodial sentence, but there is an alternative.”
He ordered Munro to carry out 90 hours unpaid work.