A dad who bought games consoles with counterfeit cash after his family’s benefits were cut was caught out because the dodgy notes were in “poonds” not “pounds”.
Desperate dad Ross Melville bought the fake currency online and used it to buy PlayStation consoles that had been listed for sale on Gumtree.
But eagle-eyed sellers spotted that the false banknotes read ‘Twenty Poonds’ instead of ‘Twenty Pounds’.
Inverness Sheriff Court heard Melville, 27, had arranged to buy PlayStation consoles worth £430 from two different advertisers through online selling site Gumtree last year.
Fiscal depute Ruaridh Allison said: “The accused met each of the parties by arrangement on September 7, at which time a price had been agreed on.
“Handing over the money, notes used in the transaction were found to be counterfeit.”
The court heard that there were 19 fake £20 notes.
Poor spelling on fake ‘poonds’
Melville, of Granish Way, Aviemore was charged with two counts of fraud and one of possessing items of counterfeit currency with the intent to pass or tender them as genuine or deliver them to another.
Melville was not present when the case called but solicitor Josey Donachie pled guilty on his behalf.
Ms Donachie told the court her client had found his household £700 worse off after benefits payments were stopped.
She said he had suffered a “lack of consequential thinking” when he decided to buy the fake notes online and then use them.
She added that he had chosen to buy the consoles from online sellers to sell on for real cash to use in shops because: “The counterfeit money was of such poor quality it would not be accepted.”
Struggling father wanted to help family
“He was just struggling at that time and thought that this would be a way to help,” she said.
Sheriff Gary Aitken called for a criminal justice social work report and deferred sentencing for Melville to the new year.
The sheriff called the crime “a grave matter” and made it clear to Ms Donachie that “all disposals are open.”