A French man who ran up unpaid bills in Dublin worth €53,000 for services and a hotel while posing as a successful businessman has received a three-year sentence.
Christian Charron (46) used the name Frank Le Furve to rent two offices on Dublin's Harcourt Road, hire three staff from a recruitment agency, be chauffeur driven to Belfast and stay at the Fitzwilliam Hotel on St Stephen's Green.
Charron has nine previous Irish convictions for similar offences and received a three-year sentence in absentia in France for crimes which his defence counsel described as "hard to understand".
Remy Farrell, defending, said his client had sent his defence in song form, as he had been making use of a recording studio in prison while on remand for the Irish offences.
Judge Desmond Hogan said he did not wish to hear further details unless counsel proposed to sing the composition for the court. Mr Farrell declined.
Charron, who has been remanded in custody since his arrest at the Fitzwilliam Hotel, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to four counts of obtaining goods and services by deception to make a gain for himself, including food, beverages, cash and accommodation at the Fitzwilliam Hotel on April 16, office space and stationary from Regus House on Harcourt Road between April 15 and 24, staff from Brightwater Recruitment, Merrion Square between April 20 and May 6, and a chauffeur service from Devines Chauffeur Service, Cherryorchard Business Park on April 4, all in 2010.
Judge Hogan said businesses were "conned" in this matter and noted Charron had a propensity to reoffend.
He imposed a three-year sentence, backdated to when Charron entered custody in June last year, and suspended the final 18 months for three years.