Dublin dole cheat who claimed €24,000 unlawfully avoids jail

Emma Minto
Emma Minto

A DUBLIN woman has been spared a jail sentence for unlawfully claiming more than €24,000 in dole payments.

Emma Minto (26) with an address at Arthur Griffith Park, Lucan, was fined €500 at Dublin District Court after she was prosecuted by the Department of Social Protection.

The fraud amounted to €24,314 and she is repaying it at a rate of €34 a week. At the current rate it will take 13 years to pay it back.

The money was wrongfully claimed from January 2012 until July 2014, while she was working in a shop, the court was told.

She needed extra income and had not suspected she was doing anything wrong, the judge heard.

The defence said the woman is now allowed work about 14 hours a week in the shop and can get €150 a week in social welfare payments.

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

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.

Judge John O'Neill noted she has given back €1,138 and had also brought another €300 to court. He also noted the mother of one was under pressure.