‘Wheelchair’ pyramids fraudster ordered home

'Wheelchair' pyramids fraudster ordered home
Lars Wallin, Sweden's so-called 'wheelchair man' on holiday in Egypt. Photo: Swedish police
Swede Lars Wallin claimed he needed round-the-clock care but was caught on holiday in Cairo. Now, Sweden's most famous benefits fraud is being extradited back home after going on the run to Brazil.

Wallin first made headlines after pictures emerged of him on holiday in Egypt – without his wheelchair. 

Swedish police obtained photos showing the Swede riding on camels, smoking a hookah pipe and walking around the pyramids during his adventure in 2009.

He was convicted in December 2011 for scamming Sweden's Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) out of 13.5 million kronor ($1.6m) in sickness benefits. The fraudster, now 51, was sentenced to four years in jail but skipped the country in 2013 before he was due to start his sentence.

After a manhunt that straddled Africa and South America, Wallin finally sought asylum in Brazil in October 2014. But now it seems certain that he will be brought back home.

The Supreme Federal Court of Brasilia established that he could be extradited to Sweden last month, according to Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, which broke the story on Wednesday. It said that the court had secured “sufficient legal basis” to force the benefits cheat to return to the Nordic country.

Wallin was injured in a car accident in 2001 and claimed – supported by a doctor's note – to be in such a poor state of health that he couldn't even dress himself.

But as well as being snapped in the Middle East, police managed to film the man while he was gardening by his summer house on Gotland, confirming the scam.

For six years his two brothers and his girlfriend, who he claimed to be his around-the-clock personal care assistants, were funded by the agency and Linköping municipality. They were also given a prison sentence four years ago.