Sixteen people charged over alleged fake crashes in Cork
State claims incidents staged to allow accused make fraudulent compensation claims
Ten men and six women appeared before Cork District Court on Wednesday morning, where one man was charged with six fraud offences, a second was charged with four fraud offences and the remaining 14 people were each charged with two fraud offences.
Sixteen people have been remanded on bail after they appeared in court on charges arising from a three-year Garda investigation into an alleged insurance compensation fraud following a series of car crashes in Co Cork.
The 10 men and six women appeared before Cork District Court on Wednesday morning where one man was charged with six fraud offences, a second was charged with four fraud offences and the remaining 14 people were each charged with two fraud offences.
Each accused is charged with at least one count of deception, contrary to Section 6 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act) 2001 and one count of making a false report, contrary to Section 12 of Criminal Law Act 1976.
The court heard all the charges arise from three separate car crashes at Monastery Hill, Rochestown near Cork city on December 6th, 2011, Carrigane, Mitchelstown on August 28th, 2012, and Clyda Bridge, Mallow on September 26th, 2012.
The State alleges all three crashes, which each involved two-vehicle collisions, were staged to enable the accused to make fraudulent claims for compensation against a number of insurance companies.
The State alleges compensation payments totalling over €58,000 were paid out to some seven of those charged, with the sums of compensation ranging from just under €4,000 to more than €12,000.
Insp Pat Meaney said the DPP had directed that four of the accused should be sent forward for trial on indictment at Circuit Court level, and that the DPP had consented to the remaining 12 being dealt with a District Court level on a guilty plea.
Judge Leo Malone asked for an outline of the alleged facts in the case and Sgt Emmet Daly and Sgt Noel Madden gave an outline of what the State alleged in relation to each crash. Upon hearing the allegations, Judge Malone refused jurisdiction in the remaining 12 cases.
Tommy Maher (51), of Scarteen, Newmarket, was charged with three counts of deception and three counts of making a false report, while Rory Keating (60), of Killinane, Liscarroll, Mallow, was charged with two counts of deception and two counts of making a false report.
Patrick Browne (52) and Eileen Browne (49), of Ballybeg West, Buttevant; Rory Hannaway (29), of Bonnog, Midleton and Mackiej Lukianiuk (29), of the Cotswolds, Midleton were all charged with a single count of deception and a single count of making a false report.
John Murphy (55), and Selena Sexton (39), both of Blackwater Heights, Youghal; Dawn Philpott (34) of Main Street, Ballynoe and Jenny Moloney (39) of Ardrath Crescent, Youghal were also each charged with one count of deception and one count of making a false report.
Damien O’Driscoll (22), of Connolly Avenue, Mallow; Elizabeth O’Driscoll (32), of Woodview Drive, Mallow and Dana Duggan (34), of College Gardens, College Manor, Cobh were also each charged with one count of deception and one count of making a false report.
Tomas Hayes (29), with addresses at James Street, Cork and Cashel, Co Tipperary; Matthew Kamara (38), with addresses at Military Hill, Cork and The Kilns, Midleton, and Peter Fitzpatrick (37), of Glencullen, Fermoy were also each charged with deception and making a false report.
Remanded on bail
Judge Malone remanded Mr Maher, Mr Keating, Mr Hannaway and Mr Murphy on bail to appear again on April 15th. He remanded Mr Fitzpatrick on bail to appear on April 8th and remanded the remaining 11 accused on bail to appear on April 1st.
The charges follow an extensive Garda investigation codenamed Operation Nascar after the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing in the United States, and carried out by the Garda Organised Crime Unit and Fraud Investigation Unit at Anglesea Street in Cork.