A man who fraudulently stole €18,000 from the HSE through passport fraud has been jailed at Cork Circuit Criminal Court. The man was jailed even though he had pleaded guilty.
The Defendant from Georgia had pleaded guilty to the charges in Court and had saved the State the expense of a full trial in doing so. This usually means that a Judge will recognise the cost saving and sentence accordingly. However, in this instance, the Judge hearing the case felt a custodial sentence was appropriate to mark the seriousness of the 21 charges. A Judge will do this when he or she feels a message must be sent to the community about certain crimes. Passport fraud is a serious crime and can have detrimental affects to a society.
Here the accused had obtained a false passport and used it to claim the monies from the HSE. He has since married an EU citizen and wanted to repay the money.
There are an increasing number of cases before the Courts involving fraud in different forms and the judiciary in most cases seem to be anxious to send out a message by imposing custodial sentences.
Criminal Law Department at HOC Solicitors