Fraud offences | 

Five Dublin family members and solicitor facing up to 80 'bogus claims' charges

The Dublin family's allegations of 'fake trips, slips and falls' have yielded over €1m
Stock photo

Stock photo

Ken Foy

Five members of an extended Dublin family and a well-known solicitor are expected to appear in court in the coming days and weeks charged with almost 80 fraud offences.

The decision by the DPP to charge the suspects follows an investigation by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) into a ­Dublin family allegedly involved in bogus insurance claims that have yielded more than €1m.

The suspects in the case range in age from their 20s to their 70s and the crimes are alleged to have taken place between 2013 and 2017.

It is understood the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) spent around 18 months considering the case before ­making a decision.

The family-based organised crime gang are suspected of making up to 60 fraudulent claims against local authorities in Dublin and Kildare over a number of years which have netted them large sums of money.

A veteran west Dublin solicitor is suspected of helping them facilitate some of the bogus claims.

Another solicitor arrested last year in Munster as part of the same investigation will not face criminal charges, the DPP has ruled.

The charges that are expected to be brought against the six - four men and two women - include deception, making false statements, money-laundering and providing false and misleading information.

Some suspects are facing up to 18 charges.

All suspects are expected to be sent forward from the District Court to the Circuit Court, which has greater sentencing powers.

Another suspect who had been one of the main focus of the GNECB investigation has died in recent months.

"Their fraudulent claims have mostly been for fake slips, trips and falls and in many cases they have used false names when making these claims," a senior source previously revealed.

"In a lot of instances these claims were settled out of court while others went to the Circuit Court and High Court - you are talking about a lot of money here."

In October 2019, five of the family members were arrested following a search operation in April of that year when six high-end cars and jewellery valued at more than €300,000 were seized from the gang. Three generations of the same family were arrested in the Clondalkin and Lucan areas of the capital on that occasion.

The cars seized were a Jaguar, a Mercedes, a BMW, a Dacia and two Volkswagen Golfs.

Documentation and financial records were also seized and, it can be revealed, no attempt has been made by the suspected fraudsters to get possession of their seized vehicles.

Many of the crimes the family members are being investigated for have led to money already being paid out to them.

The veteran solicitor, who is also due to face multiple charges, was arrested as part of the investigation in June 2020.

He was questioned in relation to a number of cases where he was alleged to have facilitated bogus claims for 'trips and falls' against two local authorities which would have had a potential loss to them of €100,000.

It is understood he was ­working for a female who is considered a key player in the family.

"The activities of organised crime gangs like this, who are involved in insurance fraud crimes, affect everyone," a senior source previously said.

"It's the activities of groups like this that have played a part in insurance premiums being so high, which in turn has led to small businesses not being able to operate because of the high cost of insurance."

Ireland has some of the highest insurance premiums in the EU for both consumers and companies.

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