Woman who claimed over €100,000 fraudulently from social welfare jailed

The mother of 4 had been claiming single parent benefits has been jailed for two years as it was found that the €100,000 she had claimed from the state had been done so fraudulently.

Janet Agbontaen (55), claimed that she was under control of her husband who she described as domineering and violent when she committed the fraud.

It was heard in Dublin’s Circuit Criminal Court that Ms Agbontaen had arrived in Ireland in 2001 under a false identity while heavily pregnant. She sought asylum under this false identity claiming she had arrived from Sierra Leone.

After five months in Ireland she made a second claim for asylum with her own identity claiming that she had arrived in Ireland the day prior to starting her second claim.

Janet Agbontaen lived in Ireland for eight years under two identities claiming from the state using both identities.

It was found that the Nigerian native had claimed around 55,000 in child benefit claims, 3,000 in early childcare allowance and aprox 83,700 in single parent payments.

The woman who lives in Cloneem Dublin pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft from the Minister of Social at post office in both Wexford and Dublin between October 2002 and April 2008.

Ms Agbontaen also pleaded guilty to giving false information in October 2002.

The court was told how the Gardaí had been called to her residence many times due to her “extremely violent” husband. Dt Gda Hoban stated that although the amount of money obtained was large Ms Agbontaen and her children were not living in a lap of luxury and that she had spent time in women’s shelter after altercations with her huband.

After learning of the prison term Ms Agbontaen’s family became visibly upset and Judge Martin Nolan explained “your mother is getting the most lenient sentence the court can give”.