Politician got benefits for son working abroad

The Swedish police are looking into whether a Swedish municipal politician committed benefit fraud by paying his sons to be his personal assistants when one of them was studying abroad.

The man is suspected of redirecting about 3 million kronor ($475,000) by stating that his two sons were working as his personal assistants, while one was actually studying in Australia. The other was working as a store manager.

The politician, who uses a wheelchair, runs a personal assistance company. He made payments to his two sons during a period of several years.

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan), the body that makes benefit payments, worked with the Tax Authority (Skatteverket) to compare documents. When the suspected fraud was uncovered, the documents were forwarded to the police, reported the local Söderhamns-Kuriren newspaper.

The Moderate Party politician, who is a substitute member (ersättare) of the steering committee of Söderhamn municipality in northern Sweden, has now taken a time-out.

“Nobody should be judged before there is conclusive evidence,” his party colleague Hans Sundgren told Söderhamns-Kuriren.

“But of course the entire story is sad, this kind of stuff makes people hate politicians even more.”

The politician himself said he would await the outcome of the police investigation before deciding whether to make his political time out permanent or not.

TT/The Local/at

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