Three Years For Woman Who Falsely Claimed €230,000 In Social Welfare

A woman has been given a three year jail term for defrauding the social welfare system of almost €230,000, while having hundreds of thousands of euro in the bank.

36-year-old Mary Connors, Cloonmore Park, Tallaght, Dublin, a mother of six, claimed the money over a period of 14 years. In that time more than €1.2 million from her husband’s business passed through her multiple bank accounts.

Sending out a message to those who commit benefit fraud, Judge Martin Nolan imposed the maximum sentence allowed for the offence.

He rejected Connors’s claim her husband would not allow her to use the money in the accounts for the family and that she had to claim social welfare to get by.

Noting that the accounts were in her name, he said: “I don’t think I can accept she was under her husband’s control; she’s responsible for her own actions.”

udge Nolan said such crimes were “by their nature difficult to detect” and that the courts must send a message. He noted that all the money had been repaid, but he said a custodial sentence must be imposed. Connors wailed and screamed as she was led away to begin her sentence.

Connors pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to eight sample counts of failing to notify the Department of Social Protection of an increase in her means between July 1996 and April 2010. She has six previous convictions including burglary and handling stolen property.


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