A businessman who ended up in debt on 25 properties resorted to making a false insurance claim for €16,000 for a crashed car and yesterday said it was a desperate attempt to pay banks.
David Hayes, aged 42, of Woodview House, Ballintrideen, Riverstick, Co Cork, was told at Cork Circuit Criminal Court that he could do 240 hours of community service instead of two and a half years in prison. He pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted theft between May 10 and May 21 2011. The particulars of the charge were that he attempted to appropriate €16,000 from Zurich Insurance Company Ltd by claiming a car in the name of a woman had crashed at a time when covered by Zurich, whereas the car had been crashed when it was not covered by insurance.
Donal O’Sullivan, barrister, submitted it was an act of desperation committed by man who had never been in trouble and was now working day and night and weekends to repay his debts.
Hayes said: “It seemed like the only way to come up with some money to pay the banks.”
Mr O’Sullivan said his client invested heavily in property during the boom years and ended up in huge debt when things went bad. Buying and selling cars has always been his business.
Judge Riordan said: “It took a fair amount of mental preparation to put in this claim. We are all used to the PR campaign about someone making a fraudulent claim putting his hand in your pocket.”
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