Tuesday 25 September 2018

Finance worker (26) used forged documents to unsuccessfully apply for three loans, court hears

Neil Dolan (26) of Nash Street, Inchicore, Dublin, leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today after his sentencing was adjourned. He has admitted 14 counts of making a forged document and 14 counts of using a forged document in the course of applying for three loans on dates between June 30th and July 7th, 2017. Pic Collins Courts.
Neil Dolan (26) of Nash Street, Inchicore, Dublin, leaves the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court today after his sentencing was adjourned. He has admitted 14 counts of making a forged document and 14 counts of using a forged document in the course of applying for three loans on dates between June 30th and July 7th, 2017. Pic Collins Courts.

Fiona Ferguson

A finance industry worker used forged documents to unsuccessfully apply for three loans within days of each other, a court has heard.

Neil Dolan (26) used Microsoft Paint to alter scanned identity documents before forwarding them to banks in the course of loan applications made using an alias over the phone.

The applications were rejected on all three occasions and the banks were not at a loss.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard Dolan had been under “stress and strain” at the time and hoping to start a business.

Dolan has one previous conviction for custody of a forged death certificate. The court heard a “substantial bill” was cleared after a phone company was contacted to say “Neil Dolan” had died and were furnished with a death certificate.

The company's suspicions were raised a few weeks later when Dolan tried to have the number reactivated and gardai were called. A fine was imposed in the District Court in 2013.

Dolan, of Nash Street, Inchicore, Dublin admitted 14 counts of making a forged document and 14 counts of using a forged document in the course of applying for three loans on dates between June 30th and July 7th, 2017.

He was sent forward to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on signed pleas from the District Court.

Judge Cormac Quinn said he had “question marks” in his mind about Dolan's motivation and what he had been doing at the time. He ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing until July 31st.

Garda Sonia Skelly told John Byrne BL, prosecuting, that on June 30, 2017 Dolan applied to KBC bank using the alias “Neil Nolan” for a €7,535 personal loan over the phone. He was then requested by the bank to furnish them with certain documentation, which he emailed to them the same day.

The documents he sent the bank included altered copies of a PTSB account statement, a passport, an age card and revenue documents in the name “Neil Nolan.” During the verification process at the bank it became apparent they were altered copies of genuine documents.

Two further loan applications were made by Dolan on July 6 and 7, 2017 using an alias to attempt to get loans of €21,500 from Permanent TSB and €24,000 from KBC. Altered documentation including a utility bill and pay slip was also supplied during these applications.

All applications were rejected by the banks involved because they could not establish the true identity of the applicant and the gardai were alerted. Gardai were able to establish that Dolan was behind all three applications and he attended by arrangement for interview in December 2017.

Gda Skelly said Dolan told gardai he had scanned the documents and altered them using Microsoft Paint. This included copying and pasting garda certification on documents, as well as altering the name and date of birth. She said he made full admissions in relation to all the documentation.

Dolan, who was working in the finance sector, told gardai he was sorry, and he knew it looked bad.

Gda Skelly said gardai asked Dolan if he had gambling debts or substance abuse issue and he told them he did not. She said he had indicated from an early stage that he would plead guilty.

Kevin McCrave BL, defending, said his client suffered from anxiety and stress and this process had weighed heavily on him.

He handed in a letter of apology in which Dolan outlined that he was sorry for wasting the time of the court, police and bank and that he had been going through “serious personal issues.”

He said Dolan had been under “stress and strain” at the time of the offences and was considering opening a business. He said Dolan was nervous, shy and somewhat immature for his age.

Counsel said Dolan had gone missing for three days in November 2014 and a garda alert issued before he was found safe and well. He said Dolan was suffering from anxiety at that time and attended counselling afterwards. He has now re-registered for counselling.

Mr McCrave asked the court to take into account the early guilty plea, the fact that there was no loss of income to the banks and no violence involved. He asked the court to give his client “a chance.”

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