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07 Aug 2022

Longford trio on PUP fraud charges to learn fate

Longford Courthouse.

Longford Courthouse

A car dealer who is subject to a €4.9 million tax judgement and charged together with his wife and brother with multiple counts of alleged Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) fraud is to learn next month whether the case will be heard at District or more serious Circuit Court level.

 

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 recently completed a two-month prison sentence imposed for breaches of court orders in relation to a receiver’s attempts to satisfy a €4.9 million judgment 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 faces eight charges of alleged PUP fraud amounting to €2,653 on dates between March and May 2020.

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.

A recent sitting of Longford District Court was told the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had consented to 'summary disopsal', meaning the case could be heard in the District Court.

In defence, solicitor Bríd Mimnagh, in reference to Seamus Kane, said full disclosure of all relevant documentation relating to the case had not yet been furnished and indicated the matter was likely to go forward for hearing.

Judge John Brennan adjourned the case until July 15 when a decision on jurisdiction as to whether the case can be heard in the District Court will be made.

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