Sunday 18 February 2018

Identity of dead baby used in €9,000 social welfare scam

Richard McCullen

THE identity of an infant who had died within minutes of birth was used in a social welfare scam, a court heard.

Patrick Collins (28), a married father of three, from Cherry Orchard Parade, Ballyfermot, Dublin, pleaded guilty to eight charges of using a false identity to obtain €8,816 from the Social Welfare office in Kells on dates between Aug 2010 and Jan 2012.

Trim Circuit court heard that Collins pretended to be a Derek McDonagh when collecting the payments.

The court heard the real Derek McDonagh had died within moments of birth years previously, but a birth cert was later obtained and used to create the false identity.

Det Gda Ray Flynn told the court that, when questioned, Collins said he had been given the fake ID by a family member, and he thought the real Derek McDonagh had emigrated, adding he was not the only one using that false identity.

The court heard he had now repaid €9,000 to the department.

The judge said it was "chilling" that the identity of a deceased child had been used in the fraud. He imposed eight concurrent suspended sentences of three years each on Collins.

Irish Independent

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