The 63-year-old Irish man who carried out the biggest social welfare fraud in the history of the state thinks his 12-and-a-half-year jail sentence is too hard and has launched an appeal against it.

Paul Murray claimed $1,578.00 a week using eight different aliases, traveling to Ireland from his home in Thailand once every three months to sign on. In total the fraud squad believed he enriched himself by over a quarter of a million euro.

But now his lawyers say his jail sentence was not "proportionate or reasonable" with the nature of the offense, appealing his sentence and arguing he should not be the poster boy deterrent to other social welfare scammers.

The Irish State is opposing Murray's application, insisting that his crime was in a league of its own, the biggest ever in the State in fact.

According to a report on the court will not make a decision on his appeal until next week, however one of the three Judges commented that if it wasn’t for the fraud of people like Murray there might not be as much hardship for genuine social welfare claimants.


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Paul Murray