Man jailed for stealing over €95k in social welfare under two false names

Court Reporter

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Court Reporter

Man jailed for stealing over €95k in social welfare under two false names

A Ukrainian national who stole over €95,000 in social welfare under two false names has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Viktor Voloshin (51) obtained false Lithuanian documentation for two separate aliases which he used to claim Jobseeker's Allowance and Rent Supplement over an eight year period between 2008 and 2016.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that Voloshin was not entitled to work in Ireland as a Ukrainian national and told gardaí he “did not want to beg”.

Voloshin, of Oak Glen View Road, Southern Cross Road, Bray, Co Wicklow, pleaded guilty to stealing Jobseeker's Allowance and Rent Supplements at various locations in Dublin and Wicklow on dates between November 27, 2008 and August 30, 2016.

He also pleaded guilty to three counts of using false instruments at Social Welfare offices in Dublin and Wicklow on dates in 2013 and 2016 and to one count of possession of a false instrument at his address on December 7, 2016.

He has three previous convictions, including convictions for using a false instrument and possession of a false instrument.

Garda Ian Abbey told Siobhán Ní Chúalacháin BL, prosecuting, that Voloshin travelled to Ireland in 2004 using a false passport.

Gda Abbey said Voloshin applied for a PPSN under his own name in 2015. During this process a photograph of the accused was taken, which was then linked using facial recognition technology to another person named Tadeus Mezanec.

Gardaí obtained two search warrants, one of which was for an abandoned address in Walkinstown, Crumlin, which had purported to be the address of Mezanec. The second search warrant was for the accused's address in Bray.

During a search of this address in Bray, Lithuanian identity cards in Mezanec's name and in the name of Gintaras Baranauskas were discovered. Documentation was also discovered in Voloshin's name.

Voloshin claimed Jobseeker's Allowance under both aliases, at various times while also working under one of the aliases or under his own name. He also claimed Rent Supplement under Mezanec's name.

The total amount of money he falsely claimed was €95,744.

In interview with gardaí following his arrest, Voloshin said that when he first came to Ireland he had no entitlement to work as a Ukrainian national. He admitted to purchasing a false Lithuanian passport.

Voloshin said in interview that it “was not a lot of money” and he “did not want to beg”.

Vincent Heneghan SC, defending, said this was a “bad case” which involved “a fraud against the Irish people and Irish society”. He said his client's immediate admissions to gardaí saved “a huge amount of time and effort”.

Judge Pauline Codd described the behaviour as “mean-spirited” offending which showed “very little respect for ordinary tax-payers who are funding the accused in his lifestyle offending”.

Judge Codd sentenced Voloshin to five years imprisonment, but suspended the final two-and-a-half years of the sentence on strict conditions.