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Woman claimed child benefit for five years while living back home in China

Woman claimed child benefit for five years while living back home in China

A MOTHER continued to get €9,000 in children’s allowance payments for five years after she moved back to China, a court has heard.

Shop assistant, Yu Shi, with an address at Ashfield Road, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, is being prosecuted by the Department of Social Protection.

Dublin District Court heard that the alleged child benefit fraud happened between 2003 and 2008 when she had returned to China. She came back to live in Ireland with her teenage child two years ago, Judge John Brennan was told.

She has not yet indicated how she will plead and was ordered to appear again next month.

The charges are under the Social Welfare Consolidation Act.
It was alleged she has repaid some of the money but still owes €6,800, the court heard.

In the district court the offence can result in a fine of up to €2,500 and a possible six-month sentence in addition to having to repay the social welfare authorities.

The court can only consider leaving defendants accused of benefit fraud without a criminal record if all the money has been repaid.

The social welfare authorities also have a mechanism to continue to recoup found owed money even after a case has been finalised.