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    Conman who led champagne lifestyle by cheating migrants out of their life savings unmasked

    This is the conman who led a champagne lifestyle off the back of the most vulnerable in society by impersonating an immigration officer — and swindling thousands of euro from his victims.

    Crook Alan Cloake – jailed last week for three years – is pictured for the first time as we reveal how he preyed on migrants, some of whom were working up to 17 hours a day.

    Cold-hearted Cloake, 47, falsely claimed he could get them legitimate Irish citizenship while he lived it up in five-star luxury.

    Read More:Man who impersonated immigration officer and ‘duped’ people out of €71,000 jailed for three years

    And the fraudster’s cruel scheming saw him he dupe his 10 victims over two years, between 2015 and 2017, out of €71,000.

    On one occasion, he sent forged letters to some of his victims which appeared to be invitations to a citizenship ceremony at Dublin’s Convention Centre.

    Those who received the letter queued for over eight hours outside the building believing they were about to gain legitimate status here.

    At the same time Cloake took phone calls throughout the day, peddling his line that he would meet them before they realised it was all a lie. In one of his victims’ cases, a Filipino – who was scammed out of €8,700 overall – had saved €4,000 working here to send back to his native country for an operation for his father.

    But his family encouraged him to hand the money over to Cloake, believing he was an immigration officer, so he could get his Irish citizenship.

    In another, Cloake targeted a Malawian family, one of whom had two jobs working 17 hour days.

    This person along with their siblings had been helping to pay off loans which had been borrowed to get legitimate status in Ireland, but lost €17,500 overall to Cloake.

    In the two year period of his crimes, fraudster Cloake spent over €8,000 staying in the Lyrath Hotel in Kilkenny, The Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin as well as the Druids Glen and Powerscourt hotels in Wicklow among others.

    Lyrath Estate Hotel in Kilkenny

    Druids Glen

    Powerscourt Hotel Wicklow

    At the same time, he splashed out €2,500 on clothes using money he took from innocent people looking for a better life here.

    A senior source said: “This individual’s cruelty goes beyond just committing crime.

    “He targeted people who were the most vulnerable in society.

    “Having conned people out of money, he went on to push his lies like on the day of the citizenship ceremony.

    “He had those people believing they were about to celebrate one of the proudest days of their lives but it was all a lie.”

    The source added: “At the same time he was leading the high lifestyle in all these hotels, spending thousands.”

    The Irish Mirror can also reveal how there has been positive developments for the victims as all of them made new applications to stay in Ireland.

    Officers from the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) along with the Department of Justice have been assisting them and nine of the ten cases so far have been granted where they can stay and work in Ireland with the view of making them permanent citizens, while it is hoped the final case will be sorted soon.

    The successful probe into Cloake was carried out by GNIB and led by Detective Garda Lorraine Travers.

    Detective Lorraine Travers

    Cloake began targeting these people in 2015 after speaking to a taxi driver, who was a naturalised citizen originally from Angola.

    He claimed to be an immigration officer and the taxi driver passed on his information to people he knew of, acting on Cloake’s claims that he could get them legitimate status here for a fee.

    Cloake – using the names “Michael Madden” and “Michael Walsh” –conned 10 Malawian and Filipino nationals who did not have formal citizenship or rights to remain in the State.

    Det Gda Travers told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court the victims were all Malawian and Filipino nationals whose citizenship status here would have been “suspect”.

    The detective said most of the victims were working illegitimately for low pay and sending money back to their families in their home countries.

    Each of his victims paid Cloake thousands as he made €71,000 after meeting them at different locations around the capital.

    Gardai were alerted by solicitors in 2018 who were acting on behalf of their clients who said they had been defrauded.

    Cloake of Greenfort Crescent, Clondalkin, Dublin, pleaded guilty to falsely representing himself as an immigration officer and dishonestly inducing 10 people to pay him money, on dates between October 21, 2015 and February 10, 2017.

    He also pleaded guilty to possession of the proceeds of criminal conduct between October 2, 2015 and September 20, 2017.

    Last Thursday he received a four-year prison term with the final year suspended.

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