Tayside and Central Scotland

Non-existent babies fraudster's £1 repayment order

Rory McWhirter Image copyright Alan Richardson
Image caption Rory McWhirter is currently serving a 28-month prison sentence for the fraud

A man who registered the births of 26 non-existent babies as part of a benefit fraud scheme has been ordered to pay back £1 of the stolen money.

Rory McWhirter fraudulently claimed £34,380 after collecting identity details from people he had deceived into applying for fake jobs.

He was jailed for 28 months in March and prosecutors lodged a Proceeds of Crime Act action to recoup the money.

Dundee Sheriff Court was told McWhirter had no assets of his own.

The court was told previously that the 29-year-old from Edinburgh earned £80,000 per year.

Depute fiscal Joanne Smith told the court that an agreement had been reached with defence lawyers for an order to be made for £1.

McWhirter will be liable in the future for the full amount if he returns to work after his release from prison.

Sheriff George Way said: "This is quite a complicated fraud.

"He is saying in his answers that the only asset is the family home that is in his partner's name."

McWhirter previously admitted using the details from the fake job applications to obtain marriage certificates before using them to register the fake births.

He then used the birth certificates to claim benefits.

McWhirter was caught after returning to the registrar's office in Aberdeen, the scene of one of his early false birth registrations, where he was recognised by staff.

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