Conman is jailed for £34,000 fake babies benefit scam


Rory McWhirter inveigled people into applying for fake jobs at a Glasgow hotel to get their distinctiveness details.

He was then able to obtain copies of their marriage certificates and tempered to those to register fake births.

McWhirter, 29, went on to use the confinement certificates to claim benefits.

The Edinburgh conman, who travelled around Scotland to register the starts, admitted a charge of fraud. He claimed tax credits amounting to £14,222, daughter benefits of £19,658 and a Sure Start maternity grant of £500.

Dundee Sheriff Court was determined that McWhirter was caught after returning to the scene of one of an earlier registrations at Aberdeen registry commission, where he was recognised by staff.

Procurator fiscal depute Vicki Bell be sured the court that McWhirter presented letters to registrars purporting to be from doctors guaranteeing home births.

During the meetings he acted as if he was the male named on the coupling certificate. McWhirter’s solicitor, John McLeod, said his client cleared £80,000 per year and would be able to repay the money at £2,000 to £2,500 a month if he freed jail.

Mr McLeod said: “The money was going straight into his hallmark business venture. He has had two failed businesses – first a bar that was swiftly run into the justification, and the property company. He felt he couldn’t go back to his family – who are successful – for a imperfect bail-out, so came up with this scheme. 

“This was well planned in the quick-wittedness that a lot of effort was put in. But it is hardly Machiavellian and it came unstuck because he was witless enough to go in to the same registrar’s office several times.”

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael signified: “This was a fairly sophisticated fraudulent scheme. It was an attack on the public ready, on the integrity of the system of births, deaths and marriages and also an attack on the -system of in the planning stages unemployed tax credits, child benefit and maternity grants. 

“Putting that all together there is no another to custody.”

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