Wednesday 25 April 2018

Compo fraudsters to face jail in perjury crackdown

Changes in laws to stop false claims

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Compensation claim fraudsters could face jail time as the Department of Justice looks to crack down on people lying for cash in personal injuries claims.

Proposals to clamp down on fraudsters include bolstering the legal status of the insurance claims form so that lying would amount to perjury - which could ultimately result in a fine or jail sentence for liars.

The department is carrying out an analysis of the need for a new statutory offence of perjury - currently it is a common law offence - and it is very difficult to prosecute insurance fraudsters who lie.

But pressure is growing on Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan to rapidly introduce a statutory offence of perjury.

His department is examining whether the law needs to be strengthened to create the statutory offence, something that is in place in other common law jurisdictions.

It comes after pressure from small and medium-sized business group Isme, which claims that strengthening the laws around perjury would make it easier to prosecute professional claimants who make up injury claims for cash.

"The claims situation is running out of control and needs to be addressed," Isme chief executive Neil McDonnell said.

Irish Independent

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