Woman flew home from UK to collect dole in €43k fraud

A Corkwoman living in London who flew home once a month to sign on for jobseekers’ allowance and then returned to the UK defrauded the State of €43,000.

Det Garda Padraig Harrington told Cork District Court yesterday that Sibyl Montague kept up this practice for years, only ending on her arrest at Cork Airport in Oct 2012.

He said the prosecution alleged this fraud began on Jul 1, 2008, and did not end until Oct 2012.

“Sibyl Montague was permanently resident outside the jurisdiction and flying back in once per month, claiming jobseekers’ allowance,” he said. “She would fly in the night before and fly out the next morning.”

The fraud investigation section of the Department of Social Protection established from flight manifests that Montague, daughter of poet John Montague, was flying in and out regularly.

She made full admissions to gardaí on her arrest.

Joseph Cuddigan, solicitor for Montague, of Cois Coillte, Tivoli, Cork, repeated yesterday the money had been repaid in full and said the matter was before the court for the judge to decide if the court would accept jurisdiction in light of the repayments.

Judge Leo Malone said: “While I accept that the money has been paid back to the State, I could not accept jurisdiction.”

Mr Cuddigan was about to make a submission “before you finalise your decision” but the judge said: “My decision is finalised.”

Mr Cuddigan then indicated that Montague would sign a plea of guilty and could be sent forward for sentencing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court in the sessions commencing on April 22.


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