Rory McWhirter has been jailed for 28 months
Rory McWhirter lured people into applying for fake jobs at a Glasgow hotel to get their identity details.
He was then able to obtain copies of their marriage certificates and used those to register fake births.
McWhirter, 29, went on to use the birth certificates to claim benefits.
The Edinburgh conman, who travelled around Scotland to register the births, admitted a charge of fraud. He claimed tax credits amounting to £14,222, child benefits of £19,658 and a Sure Start maternity grant of £500.
Dundee Sheriff Court was told that McWhirter was caught after returning to the scene of one of an earlier registrations at Aberdeen registry office, where he was recognised by staff.
Procurator fiscal depute Vicki Bell told the court that McWhirter presented letters to registrars purporting to be from doctors confirming home births.
McWhirter lured people into handing over their details with the prospect of fake jobs in Glasgow
During the meetings he acted as if he was the male named on the marriage certificate. McWhirter’s solicitor, John McLeod, said his client earned £80,000 per year and would be able to repay the money at £2,000 to £2,500 a month if he spared jail.
Mr McLeod said: “The money was going straight into his property business venture. He has had two failed businesses – first a bar that was swiftly run into the ground, and the property company. He felt he couldn’t go back to his family – who are successful – for a second bail-out, so came up with this scheme.
“This was well planned in the sense that a lot of effort was put in. But it is hardly Machiavellian and it came unstuck because he was foolish enough to go in to the same registrar’s office several times.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: “This was a fairly sophisticated fraudulent scheme. It was an attack on the public purse, on the integrity of the system of births, deaths and marriages and also an attack on the -system of working tax credits, child benefit and maternity grants.
“Putting that all together there is no alternative to custody.”
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