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Granard brothers plead guilty to pandemic payments fraud

Jan 31, 2023 14:01 By Shannonside News
Granard brothers plead guilty to pandemic payments fraud Granard brothers plead guilty to pandemic payments fraud
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Judge Bernadette Ownes heard evidence from investigating Gardaí, that following the launch of the PUP in 2020, both men made online applications for the support.

Two Longford brothers have appeared before the court this week charged with defrauding the state through the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Granard men John Alex Kane and Seamus Kane plead guilty to a number of charges at yesterday's sitting of Longford District Court. Judge Bernadette Ownes heard evidence from investigating Gardaí, that following the launch of the PUP, both men made online applications for the support and received a number of payments from March 2020 to June 2020.

Over the course of three months Seamus Kane received 10 payments of €350 and one payment of €203 to the total of €3,703, while his brother Alex received €2,653 across 8 installments.

Following an investigation, Revenue confirmed to local Gardaí that neither of the brothers were eligible for the support as they were not registered as having paid any qualifying income tax in the previous years, with Alex Kane also discovered to be claiming similar supports in Northern Ireland, through an address in Fermanagh.

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In addition to the PUP fraud, Seamus Kane also plead guilty to a drink driving offense in Granard in June 2020 where he was detected four times over the legal limit by Gardaí. Separately the defendant also faced a charge of possession of the veterinary drug Norcaine, a local anaesthetic for animals that is restricted to Vet use only. Solicitor for the brothers, Brid Mimnagh argued that the drug was used in the de-horning of cattle and the had been given to Seamus Kane years previously by a local vet.

This was refuted by Garda Inspector Dave Jordan who stated that through his engagement with Department of Agriculture experts, he understood that no vet would have given Mr Kane the medication 'in any good conscious.' In sentencing Seamus Kane, Judge Owens ordered a 4 month prison sentence to be suspended along with a fine of €1,500 to be paid by April 2024. The Granard man was ordered to pay a separate fine of €750 for the possession of the drug, while his sentencing for the traffic offence was put back to May on foot of a probation report.

Meanwhile, Judge Owens postponed John Alex Kane's sentencing until next weeks sitting of Longford District Court.

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