Forger in fake bus pass scam escapes prison
A SUCCESSFUL graphic designer who forged public transport travel passes when he fell on hard times has been put on probation for a year.
Clive Keogh (39) admitted making what were described as "extremely good quality" copies of free bus, train and tram passes that are issued by the Department of Social Protection.
Judge Ann Ryan put him on a probation bond for a year at Dublin District Court.
Keogh, formerly from Clonsilla but with an address at the Harcourt Street Hostel, pleaded guilty to six fraud charges.
He admitted possession of a fake travel pass and identity card in a woman's name at Harcourt Street, as well as having implements for making the forgeries last July 29.
He also pleaded guilty to another count of possession of similar implements and one of forgery at Maple House, Dublin 1 on dates between May 1 and July 29. The final count he admitted was possession of a fake ID card.
Judge Ryan noted that a probation report on the accused was "positive."
Previously, the court was told Keogh was caught after production and printing equipment was found in raids on two hostels he had stayed in while he was going through a divorce.
Garda Donal Donoghue said he searched the Harcourt Street Hostel and found three fake travel passes and equipment for making the passes.
The forgeries had Dept of Social Protection logos on them and were identical to real ones.
A printer and a laptop screen were recovered in a follow-up search at Maple House.
Keogh was arrested and brought to Mountjoy garda station, where he handed over a fake travel pass made for himself with his own details on it.
He was detained and made full admissions.
The court heard Keogh never set out to make the forgeries but someone asked him if he knew how to make them.
Defence solicitor Peter Connolly said the accused "was only making (the passes) for a short period of time."