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You are here:  Home  >>  Press  >>  Jail warning for man guilty of €15,000 dole fraud
Jail warning for man guilty of €15,000 dole fraud
The Irish Times - April 7th 2015
A Dublin man, who fraudulently claimed almost €15,000 in benefits, has been told he must start paying the money back or he faces jail.

Gavin O’Malley, of Hazelcroft Terrace, Finglas has pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to claiming the jobseeker’s allowance while he was working, and he admitted he made a false statement.

Judge John O’Neill said he was furnished with a negative pre-sentence probation report which did not make pleasant reading. He said Mr O’Malley turned up to one meeting and disputed how much he owed and he refused to co-operate with the Probation Service in relation to community service.

Judge O’Neill heard that in January last year the man had promised he would begin making repayments of €200 a month but that was not done.

O’Malley said he needed more time to get the money and he had to be available at all times if he is offered work by an agency.

Judge O’Neill told him that others facing prosecution for similar offences were making efforts and the court tries to facilitate them. He also said he had sought the probation report to give Mr O’Malley a chance but the man was “wasting my time”.

He asked the accused why he should not jail him to which Mr O’Malley replied, “I don’t know why not, it is up to you judge.”

Judge O’Neill told him that this was the third time the case was before the court and he was adjourning it until June, but Mr O’Malley insisted he needed more time.

Judge O’Neill ordered O’Malley to have a repayments schedule in place when the case resumes in June adding it would be to his benefit.

“This problem is not going to go away unless you make it go away. The only other option is to send you to jail, that is no good to anybody,” the judge warned.

O’Malley, who has no prior convictions, is being prosecuted by the office of the Minister for Social Protection and the court heard he owed €14,906. He has told the court that he has not been able to pay the money back because he had “too much going out of my bank account and I had not enough”.

The offence that can result in a fine of up to €2,500 and, or a six-month sentence in addition to being made pay back the amount of benefits he wrongfully claimed.

Dublin District Court also heard that the social welfare department have powers to continue to recoup money owed after a case has been finalised.
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