Man ordered to repay €20,500 in social welfare fraud case or face three and half years in jail

Galway Daily news Number on Pandemic Unemployment in Galway drops below 20,000

A man convicted of social welfare fraud was ordered to repay the outstanding balance of what he defrauded from the government or face a three and half year prison sentence.

Aboubakar Youssouf pleaded guilty to 22 counts of stealing from the Department of Social Protection in 2016 from fraudulent social welfare claims, and has been repaying the money ever since.

Between October 2015 and April 2016 the 39 year old man with an address at Carraig Laith, Newcastle claimed almost €48,000 in social welfare under a false name before being caught.

At a recent hearing before Galway Circuit Court it was heard that an outstanding balance of roughly €20,500 remains to be repaid of that sum.

At his last appearance before the court Mr Youssouf paid €3,000, and he had another €900 in court with him on this occasion.

The defence said that he has been paying back a sum of €50 per week, up from €23.50 a week previously.

Judge Rory McCabe said that this case has been going on for some time, and that it was time to finalise matters.

The judge had indicated that the headline sentence in this case was six year imprisonment, reduced to three years and six months after taking mitigating factors into account.

He imposed this prison sentence, but suspended it on the condition that Youssouf continue to discharge the debt to the state.