Welfare fraudster avoids prison after making repayments

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A POLISH man who defrauded the state of €3,200 by using a friend’s social services card to sign on has avoided jail after Limerick Circuit Court heard the money had been repaid in full.

A POLISH man who defrauded the state of €3,200 by using a friend’s social services card to sign on has avoided jail after Limerick Circuit Court heard the money had been repaid in full.

Jacek Sadurski, 34, of Carrig Midhe, Corbally, was appealing the severity of a nine-month sentence imposed at Limerick District Court where he had pleaded guilty to three counts of deception between December 2010 and April 2011.

At the original District Court hearing, the court was told that Mr Sadurski used the identity of another Pole, who had returned to their homeland, to claim welfare payments.

Using Stanislaw Dam’s social services card, Mr Sadurski would sign on at the social welfare office at Dominic Street and collect the benefits from the GPO on Cecil Street. Mr Dam would travel to Limerick once a month to collect the money. Solicitor Darrach McCarthy said “the only payment Mr Sadurski received for this was the occasional bottle of whiskey or petrol money from Mr Dam”.

State solicitor Michael Murray outlined that the offences had come to light after a department inspector “received information that someone other than Mr Dam” was collecting benefits to which he was no longer entitled. Mr Sadurski was arrested at the hatch on Dominic Street on April 6, 2011.

Judge Carroll Moran had said at an earlier appeal hearing in April of this year that social welfare fraud “would in the normal course of events warrant a custodial sentence”.

But given that Mr Sadurski was not claiming the money for himself, he adjourned the case to allow him make repayments.

After Mr Murray told the court that the money had now been repaid in full, Judge Moran suspended the nine-month prison term for one year, binding Mr Sadurski to the peace.