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'Schizophrenic' woman guilty of benefits fraud

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13:03 CEST+02:00
A Swedish woman who managed to convince her doctor she suffered from schizophrenia has been exposed as a benefits cheat after the same doctor ran into her years later at a department store.

The woman was granted sick leave benefits in 1993 after a doctor had diagnosed her as schizophrenic and in need of special treatment.

Four years later she started receiving early retirement benefits, as well as extra compensation for her husband, who served as her personal care assistant.

All told, the woman received more nearly 1.8 million kronor ($256,000) in benefits payments from Sweden's Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

But one day in 1999, the doctor happened to bump into the woman at a department store where she appeared to be in perfect health.

Intrigued by what appeared to be a remarkable recovery, the doctor then started looking into the woman's case.

He subsequently discovered that he had been duped when he originally diagnosed the woman's supposed schizophrenia and promptly reported her to the Social Insurance Agency.

The case ended up in court, where the woman was found guilty of benefits fraud and order to repay 1,777,427 kronor to Försäkringskassan, as well as pay for the agency's court costs.

A court of appeal recently rejected the woman's request for a retrial, allowing the ruling to stand, reports Swedish legal news website Infotorg Juridik.

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