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Chef who claimed €30k dole failed to mention he had €100k in the bank

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The chef was not entitled to the €29,360 in benefits he received over three years.
The chef was not entitled to the €29,360 in benefits he received over three years.

AN OUT-OF-WORK chef, who received almost €30,000 in dole payments after he failed to mention he had more than €100,000 in the bank, is to be sentenced next year.

Egyptian-born Gamal Borie, 62, with an address at Harrington Street, Dublin 2, pleaded guilty to making a false statement in which he failed to disclose his finances when he made a claim for job-seeker's allowance.

He is being prosecuted by the office of the Minister for Social Protection. The offence that can result in a fine of up to €2,500 and or a six-month sentence in addition to being made pay back benefits wrongfully claimed.

Judge John O'Neill said at Dublin District Court that he was adjourning the case until April 2016. 

Solicitor Joseph Maguire, for the Minister, told Judge O'Neill that Borie's case was “a crime of greed” and related to undisclosed finances. He received €102,411 from the sale of a house, had financial means at his disposal and he was not entitled to the €29,360 in benefits he received over three years.

He has begun repaying the money but still owed the social welfare office €26,031and at the current rate of repayment it will take nearly 18 years to clear it, Judge O'Neill was told. 

The prosecution solicitor said a pre-sentence probation report showed Borie did not take full responsibility for his action. However, the judge noted from the defence that Borie now accepted responsibility.

Borie's solicitor said her client, who is now on disability allowance, suffers from arthritis, diabetes and high blood pressure. He was not aware it was his duty to disclose amount of money in his bank account, the court had heard.

He came to Ireland in 1979 and was gainfully employed until 2007. The money he had was from the sale of his house and is gone, the court heard. He had to pay a substantial amount to his wife to support his daughter and her education, the judge has also been told.

Judge O'Neill had said at an earlier stage that the 62-year-old already had approximately €100,000 but he “put his hands into the pockets of Irish tax-payers and took money from them.” 

However, he noted Borie's health problems and that the Probation Service believe he can engage in some form of employment.

He said he was adjourning sentencing for Borie to comply with recommendations of the Probation Service which include having to continue to attend appointments with them to take part in an “offending behaviour programme” and to explore training and employment options.