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High profile tenant given six months in jail for rental fraud

rental fraud

A director of the Scottish Women’s Premier League (SWPL) who defrauded her elderly landlord out of £30,000 has been jailed for six months.

Zola McGoldrick, 50, also known as Zola Affley, conned Roderick Glen by claiming her bank accounts had been frozen when she was caught up in an international money laundering scheme, reports The Edinburgh Evening News.

She even forged several letters, claiming they were from the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Bank and HMRC, to keep the scam going, and failed to pay him the £1,500-a-month rent between September 2018 and May 2020.

McGoldrick had denied any wrongdoing but was found guilty of the elaborate fraud following a two-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in October. She was forced to resign from her position as a director with the SWPL following the guilty verdict.

Previously, the 74-year-old landlord had told the court he rented his property to McGoldrick and her children and allowed the Australian national to move in before any deposit was paid into his bank account.

Complicated

He said when the promised deposit failed to arrive McGoldrick had given him “a complicated explanation” claiming she had become the victim of an international money laundering scam. He said he had felt sorry for her and let her stay, in the hope he would eventually receive the rent payments.

Defence agent Michael Ellis said his client was a student at Edinburgh University and told the court: “It is clear Mrs McGoldrick feels apologetic about the impact on her previous landlords.”

Sheriff Roderick Flinn noted that she blamed her husband for forging the bank letters. He told her: “Your behaviour was deliberate and when your story started to unravel you failed to admit your guilt and your behaviour had elements of confidence trickery in it.”

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