Fake wheelchair man accused of conning carer
Published: 09 Feb 2013 12:58 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Feb 2013 12:58 GMT+01:00
A 47-year-old man who went on holiday in Egypt while posing as handicapped in Sweden and claiming millions in benefits is now being prosecuted for stealing from his carer.
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Swedish police obtained snaps of the man riding on camels, smoking a hookah pipe and climbing the pyramids during a 2009 holiday in Egypt.
At that point he had received help from a publicly funded personal carer for three years after telling Swedish doctors, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) and the Linköping municipality that he needed a wheelchair and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain disorder after traumatising experiences in Iraq, his home country.
The 47-year-old and his relatives are suspected of having swindled 5.2 million kronor ($806,000) from the Social Insurance Agency and the Linköping municipality between 2006 and 2012.
This week, the 47-year-old was also prosecuted over another fraud case. He is suspected of taking around 180,000 kronor from his daughter-in-law, money which she earned from working as his carer.
In May 2012, the woman, who was married to one of the man's sons for a short period, told police about the suspected cheating. She now lives with a protected identity.
"We have evidence that she was in Sweden when he withdrew the money with her card in Morocco," prosecutor Marianne Staaf told the Aftonbladet tabloid.
"I will press for a long prison sentence," added Staaf.
The court has called 21 witnesses, including neighbours who say they have seen the man moving about freely, without his wheelchair.
He is not the first 47-year-old man from the Östergötland region to have holidayed in Egypt while pretending to be wheelchair-bound and claiming millions in benefits.
In October 2012, the so-called "wheelchair man" was sentenced to four years in prison after swindling 13.5 million kronor from the Social Insurance Agency.
The original wheelchair man was also 47 years old and he too posed for holiday snaps in front of the pyramids in Egypt.
The 47-year-old currently on trial denies the charges.
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