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29 May 2022

Longford car dealer, wife and brother charged with alleged PUP fraud

Longford Courthouse.

A north Longford car dealer together with his wife and brother have been charged with multiple counts of alleged PUP fraud

A Longford car dealer who is subject to a €4.9m tax judgement has been charged together with his wife and brother of multiple counts of alleged Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) fraud.

 

John Alex Kane (47), his wife Lucy Pinfold (42), both of Cartron, Granard, Co Longford and Seamus Kane (52), Ardagullion, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford, stand charged with fraudulently obtaining the State’s Covid support payment amounting to a combined total of over €9,000.

Alex Kane is currently serving a two-month prison sentence imposed for breaches of court orders in relation to a receiver’s attempts to satisfy a €4.9 million judgement the Revenue secured in 2009 over the non-payment of tax on car sales.

Kane was previously held in contempt of court by the then president of the High Court, Peter Kelly, in July 2019 but a stay was placed on a two-month jail term after he gave undertakings not to interfere with the receiver’s work.

He was brought before Judge Bernadette Owens at Longford District Court earlier today to face 8 charges of alleged PUP fraud amounting to €2,653 on dates between March and May 2020.

The court was told Mr Kane was in custody and not due for release until March 9. 

Judge Owens granted legal aid to Mr Kane owing to his present circumstances after defence solicitor Fiona Baxter said it had been reserved at a previous court hearing.

Ms Pinfold was charged with eight separate charges involving the alleged fraudulent claiming of payments totalling €2,800 on dates between March and May 2020.

Seamus Kane, meanwhile, was charged with 11 counts, comprising €3,850 between April 2020 and March 2021.

Sgt Mark Mahon, for the State, said some documentation had been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and, as such, would be seeking a short adjournment on the matter.

Mr Kane, who sat motionless in the custody suite of the court throughout, at one point stood to his feet to ask if an unrelated court ruling taken against him previously by Longford County Council for the alleged non payment of commercial rates could be set aside.

Frank Gearty, solicitor for the local authority, said he had no difficulty in acceding to that request subject provided Mr Kane made a formal application to him in writing.

“If he (Mr Kane) drops me a line, I will facilitate that as I wouldn’t want Mr Kane thinking he didn’t get fair justice,” said Mr Gearty.

The case is set to return before Longford District Court on May 20.

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