Man awaits sentence for benefits fraud

A company director is awaiting sentence for claiming more than €12,000 in benefits after failing to disclose his wife had a job.

Nathaniel Hutchinson, aged 33, of Oranmore Rd, Ballyfermot, Dublin, pleaded guilty to charges under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act.

Prosecution solicitor Edel Haughton told Dublin District Court there were six summonses before the court but the circumstances were slightly different in that he made a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance, but failed to disclose that his wife was in employment.

She said the total fraud was €12,260 and €3,950 has been repaid by Mr Hutchinson who is making monthly repayments.

Counsel, defending, said the man is now a company director and a court conviction could affect him. He needs licences for trucks and vans, counsel said.

Adjourning sentencing, Judge O’Neill said it was up to Mr Hutchinson and the progress needed to be on-going.

The prosecution was brought by the Department of Social Protection. The offences, at district court level, can result in a fine of up to €2,500 as well as a possible six-month jail sentence. The social welfare office can continue to recoup money owed after a court prosecution has been finalised.


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