Church minister in Dublin pleads guilty to €20k dole fraud

Church minister in Dublin pleads guilty to €20k dole fraud

A MINISTER with the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Ireland has pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming almost €20,000 in benefits.

Dublin District Court heard Idowu Akanbi, 48, with an address at The Close, Orlynn Park, Lusk,  made a “false declaration claiming the one parent family payment” and he “concealed he had got remarried”.

Judge John O'Neill heard the man received €19,132 in payments from social welfare but since being detected he has given back €3,577 to date. There have also been deductions of €28 a week from his Jobseeker's Allowance.

The court heard he has pleaded guilty to a charge are under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act that for the purpose of obtaining the one parent family payment he concealed the fact that he remarried in November 2012.

He was not present for his latest hearing. However, prosecution solicitor Joseph Maguire said the man is making repayments of €100 a week and he asked for an adjournment in the accused's absence.The court heard the defendant is a minister at the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Swords in north Co. Dublin.

The case resumes in October.

The prosecution has been 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.