Texas native Jeremy Cochran has received a jail sentence of four years after stealing the identities of seven people, six of whom were dead children. Through the fraud, Cochran attained €83,200 in insurance payouts.
The Irish Times report that Cochran (36) obtained the birth certificates of six babies who had died shortly after being born in 1975. With the birth certificates, Cochran was able to fraudulently obtain PPS numbers, passports and bank accounts in their names. He also stole the identity of a seventh man, Kevin Casey, who is still alive.
Cochran pleaded guilty to 11 charges at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court which included making false insurance claims and falsely obtaining passports and PPS numbers.
Cochran has been in the custody of Dublin Gardai since January 13, 2011 after he was arrested at Dublin Airport. Personnel there became suspicious of Cochran when he attempted to get an urgent passport. Gardai were contacted, and using CCTV, Cochran was found and arrested.
At the airport, Cochran had given the name John Gibney and had documents relating to two other identities, Michael Barrett and John Martin, in his luggage.
In America, Cochran had previous convictions which included short jail terms for theft of services and forgery. There were five outstanding warrants for his arrest but no extradition proceedings had started yet.
“These offences were committed with intention and forethought. He must have been a quite convincing man with a certain degree of nerve and charm,” said Judge Nolan before he jailed Cochran for four years.
Judge Nolan also described Cochran as “a quite determined and probably intelligent fraudster.”
Cochran filed fraudulent claims to different insurance companies in Ireland several times. He was paid out large sums of money for his claims, that often said he was knocked over by another person.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?