05/08/2021

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Man avoids jail term for using fake documents to secure a mortgage

Man avoids jail term for using fake documents to secure a mortgage

A Leitrim man has received a fully suspended sentence for using fake documents in an attempt to procure a mortgage.

Aidan McGovern (40) of Croi na Carraige, Keshcarrigan, Leitrim pleaded guilty to providing false statements, wage slips for a non-existent company and a false p60 at KBC in Swords in 2018.

He has six previous convictions which are mainly for road traffic and public order offences.

Garda Karen Duffy of Swords Garda Station told Tom Neville BL prosecuting, that bank staff at KBC had ‘suspicions’ about the documents which they had received from McGovern.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard that while the AIB bank statement contained the correct account details for McGovern, that the amount of money was incorrect and that the accused had much less money in his account than the statement suggested.

McGovern had also provided a Credit Union statement which belonged to another person but which he was trying to pass off as his own.

The p60 document he provided was false and it was discovered that he was not registered for PAYE at the time.

In relation to the wage slips, it was found that they related to Acorn Services Solutions Limited which it was discovered was a company that does not exist.

When contacted by gardai, McGovern was informed of his entitlement to a solicitor of which he did not avail.

The accused had outlined how he had edited the documents and confirmed that he had emailed documents which he knew were fraudulent to the bank in order to apply for a €120,000 mortgage.

The court heard that the reason McGovern had given for his actions were as a result of his marriage breakdown, after which he sought to obtain a house to stay in.

Séamus Clarke SC defending confirmed with Gda Duffy that the accused man had co-operated fully and that he had set out what he had done and his reasons for doing it to gardaí.

Mr Clarke said that the accused had intended to pay off the mortgage and that he regretted what he had done.

He added that the father-of-two had come forward with a plea and that he had fully co-operated from the outset and was unlikely to re-offend.    

Judge Pauline Codd said that a mitigating factor was that the accused admitted he had doctored the documents in question without implicating anyone else.

She emphasised the importance the court has to ‘protect the integrity of loan applications’, despite the accused man’s intention to pay the mortgage back in full. 

Judge Codd said that it was McGovern’s belief that it is as cheap to pay off a mortgage as it is to pay rent.

She added that she was taking into account the fact that the events took place within the context of the accused man separating from his wife and their child.

The judge said that many go through marital breakdown but ‘don’t resort to this conduct’ which she described as ‘pre-meditated’.

Mitigating factors cited were the fact that the accused co-operated, declined his right to a solicitor and that he is at a low risk of re-offending.

Judge Codd sentenced McGovern to three years in prison, suspending the sentence in full on the condition that he keep the peace.

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