A SLOVAKIAN national who falsely claimed over €600 social welfare has been given a suspended sentence for “stealing from the State”.
Miroslav Carvenak, 16 Colliers Court, Portlaoise, faced four charges of making gain by deception, at Portlaoise Post Office between August 16 and September 7. Inspector Martin Harrington gave evidence that Carvenak claimed social welfare of €152.60 on four occasions using a false name, with a total loss of €610.40.
Defence, Mr Philip Meagher explained that the name used was the boyfriend of his client’s daughter, who had returned to Slovakia with his partner to sort out a passport for their young child. The boyfriend had asked Carvenak to collect his social welfare while he was gone and Carvenak agreed, as he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong and the money was immediately sent via Western Union to the other man. Mr Meagher concluded by saying that the family had made a huge effort to gather up €610 compensation and his client, who is on social welfare himself, was extremely ashamed of what had happened.
Judge Catherine Staines remarked that if Carvenak is on social welfare then he knows full well how the system works and he is “stealing from the State” funds that are badly needed to pay public servants such as teachers and gardaí.
“I take welfare fraud very seriously,” she said. “Fortunately, this was picked up early so there wasn’t a loss to the State.”
The judge imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years.