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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Businessman Faces Jail After He Obtained Birth Certificates For 26 Fake Babies In £35,000 Benefits Scam

Rory McWhirter, pictured, 29, faces jail after admitting a fraud scam in which he registered 26 fake birth certificates to claim benefits

A businessman faces jail after falsely registering the births of 26 non-existent children in a £35,000 benefits scam.

Rory McWhirter - director of property firm Capital Residential Ltd - travelled across Scotland to register the fictitious home births as part of the complex fraud.
The 29-year-old concocted the complicated scheme while living with his girlfriend in Dundee.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard McWhirter duped people into applying for fake jobs at a Glasgow hotel through an ad on Gumtree - then used their details to get their marriage certificates, before using them to register the 'births'.
In total he claimed tax credits amounting to £14,222.48, child benefits of £19,658.70 and a Sure Start maternity grant of £500 - a total of £34,381.18.
McWhirter, of Edinburgh, was only caught after returning to the scene of one of his earlier false registrations in Aberdeen, where he was recognised by staff.
Police were then able to track him down due to his BMW Z4 convertible car which he used to travel between offices.
Around the same time, an 'organised attack' on HMRC's computer systems - which showed around 350 tax credit application form requests had been received from addresses in Dundee and Campbelltown linked to McWhirter - triggered other alarms.  
McWhirter presented letters to registrars at various offices throughout Scotland purporting to be from doctors confirming the births of children at home as well as marriage certificates in the names of 10 separate people who he claimed were the parents.

During the meetings he acted as if he was the male named on the marriage certificate while registering the birth, the court was told.
Fiscal depute Vicki Bell said he even told the Dundee Registrar he was having problems setting up the 'home birthing pool' in his living room.
But in May 2015 in Aberdeen he registered two children's names and the following day at the same office he attempted to buy a copy of a marriage certificate for his brother Lockhart Brown, claiming his name was Luke Brown.
The registrar recognised him and heard him provide this different name.

Miss Bell said: 'Four of the names used as claimants were traced and they advised they didn't make the claims.
'They had all, however, applied for the same job for front of house staff at a four star hotel in Glasgow advertised on Gumtree on March 2015.
'The ad required a CV and a national insurance number.
'It transpired their details had been used to fraudulently claimed tax credits.

'It was then discovered that 14 claims for tax credits had been made by persons residing in Perth Road, Dundee, and in Campbeltown at flats related to the accused's company.
'In total the accused registered 22 false births for 26 children.
'During one he referred to problems with a home birthing pool and said his wife was a paediatric doctor.
'When he attended at Edinburgh registrars in June 2015 to register a birth he was seen using a silver or grey BMW car with a private plate.
'The motor car referred to led police to an address in Perth Road, Dundee, where the former co-accused opened the door.
'He provided full admissions stating he was in severe financial difficulty and needed money.

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