Tralee man handed down fine of €750 for social welfare fraud

Tralee Courthouse3A Tralee man who faced charges relating to social welfare fraud has been fined a total of €750 at Tralee District Court. The court heard that 32 year old Stephen Fitzgerald of The Bungalow, Ballyseedy, Tralee is continuing to pay the Department of Social Welfare 50 euro a week. The total fraud amounted to up to €33,000; Social Welfare Inspector Gerard Reidy told the court that 30,700 euro remains to be repaid. Solicitor Nuala Liston said the single father of two was on unemployment benefit when he secured a type of self employment with an organisation and failed to inform the Department of Social Welfare. She said had he been wise and had spoken to Social Welfare he might have been entitled to a different type of payment. The fraud occurred on a number of dates in 2009 and 2011. The maximum penalty was a fine of €2500 or 6 months in prison.