A MAN in his 30s has appeared before Midleton District Court in Co Cork charged with fraud offences, including two counts of stealing almost €15,000 in false pandemic unemployment payments (PUP) from the Department of Social Protection.
Oluwagbewikeke Lewis, aged 35, with an address at Brookdale, Midleton, Co Cork, was charged with 15 different fraud offences.
He was charged with two counts of falsely claiming PUP from the Department of Social Protection contrary to section 4 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences)Act 2001. One charge alleges that he falsely obtained a PUP of €8,778 between May and December 2020, while the other charge alleges that he falsely obtained a PUP of €6,104 between May and November 2020.
He was also charged with one count of using a false public services number and one count of using a false UK passport at Neylon Facilities Management, Caherlevane Business, Park, Athenry Rd, Co Galway, on July 4, 2019.
He was also charged with possessing a stolen passport at his home at Brookdale, Midleton, on November 13, 2020, and with three counts of possessing a false passport at unknown locations on February 14, 2019, August 28, 2020, and September 5, 2020.
Mr Lewis was also charged by Det Garda Keeshan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau with a further three separate counts of possessing false Permanent TSB Bank statements at his home address in Midleton on November 13, 2020.
Mr Lewis was charged with two counts of possessing a false passport at Ballyvodock, Midleton, on November 6, 2020, and two counts of possessing false Permanent TSB statements at the same address on the same date.
Sgt Claire Miskella applied for an adjournment of a month in the case. She told Judge Marie Keane the investigation was very complex.
She said that gardaí had no objection to bail. Defence solicitor, Joe Cuddigan, said his client was agreeable to the conditions being sought by gardaí. Mr Cuddigan applied for free legal aid for his client stressing that he was a man of little means.
Judge Keane remanded Mr Lewis on his own bond of €200 to appear again at Midleton District Court on March 25 and on April 11. The court appearances are split up in relation to various charges.
Mr Lewis was ordered to sign on daily at Midleton Garda Station. His bail conditions also include that he reside at his home address and notify gardaí of any change of address, that he surrender his passport, and that he provide gardaí with a phone number on which he can be contacted around the clock.