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Faked cerebral palsy netted millions in benefit

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10:30 CEST+02:00
A 32-year-old man from Halmstad is suspected of having cheated his way to benefits of almost five million kronor ($700,000) from the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) by pretending to be mentally disabled.

A further five people, who via their disability assistance firm claimed to have cared for the man, are suspected of benefit crimes, the local Hallands Nyheter daily reports.

"We have conducted house searches and brought the people in for questioning. There are a number of tricky factors that may be hard for them to explain," detective Claes Björnerhag at the county police in Halland told the newspaper.

One of the assistants, who has not yet been detained, has not been in Sweden since the start of November but is claimed to have worked, and been paid, for caring for the 32-year-old in November, December, January and February.

The benefit theft is reported to have taken place since 2007 and the 32-year-old has been granted 170,000 kronor per month in assistance allowance payments from the agency. He is now suspected of aggravated fraud offences against the agency.

The man has undergone x-rays which show no noticeable damage to his brain. When the man was due for a more detailed medical inspection the doctor was forced to give up as he refused to sit still.

Police have conducted surveillance against the man on several occasions when he has been outside of his apartment.

The man claims to be unable to take care of himself, sits in a wheelchair and can hardly talk, but police investigations have managed to collect evidence of another, very different, reality.

"He can talk on the phone and he can send text messages. He can in general do much more than he should otherwise not be able to do. And he has very developed thigh muscles for having sat in a wheelchair since birth," said Claes Björnerhag to the newspaper.

The film evidence also shows that the man has been able to take part in a table-tennis tournament.

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