Man jailed for illegally claiming over €200k in social welfare

Man jailed for illegally claiming over €200k in social welfare

A DUTCH MAN who fraudulently claimed over €225,000 in social benefits was jailed for four years for his crimes.

Leendert Stolk illegally claimed social benefits between 2011 and 2018 despite not living in Ireland.

On Monday, Dublin Criminal Court heard that aside from the €225,000 Mr Stolk had been jailed for, he'd also fraudulently claimed a further €18,000 of child support for his two children.

The 50-year-old, who cheated the state while living in Sussex, England, pleaded guilty to 22 sample counts of wrongfully claiming social welfare and four counts of using a false instrument.

He was deemed to have fraudulently used a school stamp while claiming child benefits for seven years.

His crimes only came to light when his wife was arrested in connection with the incident, causing Stolk to come forward and admit to his wrong-doing.

The Fraud

Letters to Mr Stolk were sent to a house in the Dublin 15 area, where he previously lived. These letters were then redirected to his address outside the country.

Irish authorities became aware of the scam when a letter was returned to the Department of Social Protection, instead of being redirected to Sussex. Gardai investigated the property and found that it was empty.

Stolk was then contacted and asked to prove that he wasn't redirecting letters to a home outside the country, and he handed over a fraudulent declaration which he claimed was from An Post.

His scam eventually failed though and he is currently 13 months in to a four-year prison sentence, though the time he spends behind bars may be extended given the latest admission of fraudulent benefit claiming which wasn't taken into account during his initial sentence.