NewsCourts

Man warned he is facing jail for fraudulently claiming €30k in welfare payments

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Douglas claimed almost €30,000 in benefits while he was working
Douglas claimed almost €30,000 in benefits while he was working

A DUBLIN man, who fraudulently claimed almost €30,000 in benefits while he was working, has been warned he is facing a jail sentence.

David Douglas, 33, of Moatview Court, Priorswood, D17, is being prosecuted by the office of the Minister for Social Protection and appeared at Dublin District Court today. 

Judge John O'Neill heard the man admitted claiming the Jobseeker's Allowance on dates in 2012, 2011 and 2009 while he was working. The court was also told Mr Douglas had also been receiving cancer treatment at the time.

He received €29,615 and some €2,620 has been repaid to the Department of Social Protection, Judge O'Neill was told.

The 33-year-old is making repayments of €28 a week out of his benefits and at that rate it will take over 18 years before the Department is fully repaid, said prosecution solicitor Joseph Maguire.

The defence asked the judge to note that at the time Mr Douglas had cancer and had been undergoing treatment. An adjournment was sought for documentary evidence to be furnished to the court.

Judge O'Neill agreed and adjourned the case until May. He said it was a serious matter and he asked for a pre-sentence probation report on the defendant to be furnished to the court.

Judge O'Neill said he was “keeping my options open”. He said the case involved a substantial amount of taxpayers' money and  warned that Mr Douglas is facing a possible custodial sentence.