Tuesday 23 January 2018

Dad and his ‘scallywag’ sons pay back €25,000 in dole fraud case

Tom Tuite

A 63-YEAR-OLD Dublin man and his "scallywag" twin sons have repaid the State after their involvement in dole fraud worth almost €25,000.

At Dublin District Court today, Judge Cormac Dunne adjourned sentencing the three men for one week.

Eddie Duff Snr, of South Lotts Road, Ringsend, and his 27-year-old sons Edward and Graham Duff have owned up to their roles in the benefit fraud.

The three men face charges of deception and forgery of dockets at Blanchardstown social welfare office and a number of post offices, two in Dublin and one in Co. Meath, on dates from February 2009 until July, 2011. The court heard that the benefit fraud totalled €24,719.

Detective Garda Ronan Hunt told the court today that they had been investigated following a tip-off but he agreed that they had voluntarily stopped the fraud before they were arrested.

Det-Gda Hunt gave details of how the scam operated. Graham Duff, a carpenter, who has an address at The Waterside, in Ringsend, Dublin, filled out an unemployment form in the name of his twin. He had got a utility bill and new driving licence issued in Edward Jnr's name and engaged in 115 transactions at Blanchardstown social welfare office.

His brother, block-layer, Edward Jnr, who also resides at South Lotts Road, was in Australia at the time looking for work and later became aware of the fraud.

Graham took €6,129 and their father used €11,2600 to pay off a credit union loan previously taken out by his other son. Mr Duff Snr managed the money and sent €7,329 to Edward Jnr. in Australia.

Det-Gda Hunt agreed with defence solicitor Dara Robinson that they had been co-operative and the fraud had stopped before they were investigated. Mr Robinson said the twins plan to set up a business and are actively looking for work.

Mr Robinson said that Mr Duff Snr had a good employment history and despite having suffered a stroke he still works part-time. None of the twins other siblings had been in trouble and the pair were regarded as “the scallywags of the family”.

Judge Dunne remanded the three on continuing bail to appear again next Friday for sentencing.

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