A Romanian mother of three who used a false identity to get a job and claim illness and maternity benefit has been given a suspended sentence.
Alina Onofrei (31) was unable to work legally on her arrival in Ireland because Romania was not a member of the European Union at that time. She bought a fake Lithuanian passport for €800 and used this false identity to obtain work in a supermarket.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard she would have been entitled to the maternity and illness benefit which she later claimed in 2009 and 2010 if she had not used the false identity to obtain it as Romania had joined the EU by that stage.
Onofrei of Bremore Castlegate, Balbriggan, Dublin pleaded guilty to having a fake passport, obtaining a doctor’s letter with a false name and stealing just over €8,000 in maternity and illness benefit on dates between August 2009 and September 2010.
Her husband, Stefan Onofrei (34), is currently serving a three year sentence imposed last July for social welfare fraud. He fraudulently claimed over €85,000 in benefits using a false identity and a portion of that claim named his wife as a adult dependent as if she was not working,