Dole cheat mum awaits sentence

Emma Minto
Emma Minto

A DUBLIN woman is awaiting sentence after she admitted she unlawfully claimed more than €24,000 in dole payments.

Emma Minto (26) with an address at Arthur Griffith Park, Lucan, appeared at Dublin District Court after she was prosecuted by the Department of Social Protection.

Judge John O'Neill heard that the fraud amounted to €24,314 and he is repaying it at a rate of €34 a week from her maternity benefit. At the current rate it will take 13 years to pay it back.

The money was wrongfully claimed from January 2012 until July 2014, the court was told. The defence heard the woman claimed she had been working for €60 a week doing about 20 hours and she needed extra income not suspecting she was doing anything wrong.

The court heard she was single and had a young child and has no prior criminal convictions.

Judge O'Neill said she had obtained a “serious amount of money” adding that “this is a crazy amount”. He adjourned sentencing her until July to allow time for a probation report on her to be furnished to the court.

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 the amount of benefits he wrongfully claimed.

The social welfare authorities have a mechanism to recover money owed to them after a case has been finalised.