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Jobless man to stand trial on 63 counts of dole fraud

AN UNEMPLOYED man is to stand trial after he was charged in court today with 63 counts of dole fraud.

Martin Foley (52), of Walnut Rise, Courtlands, Dublin 9, has been accused of fraudulently claiming social welfare benefits in the name of another man over a period of several years.

He was charged with deception under Section Six of the Theft and Fraud Offences Act and made his first appearance at Dublin District Court yesterday (wed).

It is alleged that he claimed job seekers allowance by producing a social welfare card in the name of another man at a post office on Drumcondra Road, in Dublin.

The charges also alleged that he filled out unemployed assistance details using the same man's name, at North Cumberland St, in Dublin.

Judge Grainne Malone heard that the DPP had directed that he should be tried on indictment in the Circuit Court.

Mr Foley said at his brief hearing that he is on sickness benefit but was told by the judge that he would have to complete a statement of means before the court decides whether he is entitled to free legal aid.

Judge Malone said a decision on that issue would be made at his next court appearance on July 11 when he is to be served with a book of evidence. He has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the social welfare fraud charges.

A person found guilty of deception is liable on conviction on indictment to a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years, or both.