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compo claims Solicitor arrested as fraud squad investigate 30 cases of false compensation claims

Detectives were yesterday questioning the woman at Irishtown station in south Dublin on suspicion of conspiring to commit fraud

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Irishtown Garda station

Irishtown Garda station

Irishtown Garda station

A female solicitor has been arrested by fraud squad detectives who are carrying out an investigation into false insurance claims.

Detectives from the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB) were yesterday questioning the woman at Irishtown station in south Dublin on suspicion of conspiring to commit fraud.

The solicitor, who was arrested by appointment, became a “person of interest” in the lengthy investigation after officers received a complaint from one of Ireland’s biggest security companies.

Most of the false ‘compo’ claims relate to fake traffic accidents that involve individuals who do not even exist.

“Before the insurance company reported the matter to gardaí, they noticed certain similarities in the claims and attached medical reports which aroused suspicion,” a senior source said.

“A doctor based in the UK is also under active investigation in relation to this case for providing false medical certs,” the source added.

Detectives suspect the fake claims were facilitated by a solicitor’s firm that was then based in Dublin but which is now defunct.

As part of the operation, GNECB officers seized around 200 files from the company and discovered around 30 cases of false documentation that is alleged to be used in relation to civil litigation claims.

“You are talking here about claims being made by people who do not even exist and events like traffic accidents never even taking place,” a senior source said.

“This is fraud on an organised scale involving professional people like doctors and solicitors,” the source added.

This is one of a number of other similar detailed investigations being currently carried out by the GNECB into professional people.

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In a separate investigation, a north Dublin based doctor was arrested in April by fraud squad detectives who are investigating around 200 insurance claims which were made using false identities, false utility bills supported by false medical certificates.

The suspect, who is aged in his 50s, was questioned and then released without charge from a north Dublin garda station over allegations that he signed off on up to 20 false medical certs for non-existent people.

Senior sources say these include insurance claims for “soft-tissue injuries and other medical complications” arising out of bogus incidents.

A month earlier, a solicitor was arrested as part of another GNECB probe and questioned about alleged deception and money laundering offences as well as allegedly giving misleading evidence under Section 25 of the Civil Liabilities Act.

A solicitor aged in his late 60s – based in west Dublin – was arrested and released without charge in June of last year as part of the same investigation.

There has been an increase of more than 40pc in cases of reported fraud in the year to June, according to figures published by the Central Statistics Office.

The CSO said the rise primarily related to fraudulent attempts to obtain personal or banking information online or by phone as well as fraudulent use of credit and debit card information.

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