Woman and sons jailed for faking disability to claim benefits

Malmö District Court jailed the woman and her two adult sons for fraud after the elder brother pretended to be mentally disabled for more than a decade to receive social benefits.

Woman and sons jailed for faking disability to claim benefits
The district court in Malmö. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

Vlasta Bandova, a 49-year-old citizen of both Slovakia and Slovenia, claimed her son needed diapers and help with everything, according to the Malmö district court, leading medical officials to provide the necessary documents to receive financial help to pay for his care.

“He was therefore granted assistance allowance and his mother was hired as his personal assistant,” the court said.

Her son, who was then around 15 years old, was first granted the right to allowance in 2000. Between 2006 and 2015, the family received social benefits worth nearly nine million kronor (around $990,000).

Authorities cut off the family's benefits in 2015 after receiving several tip-offs since 2001 and following a police report in 2012.

The elder son, 32-year-old Frantisek Banda, told the court that he pretended to be mentally disabled by making it impossible for people to make contact with him.

But he denied the fraud charge, claiming he was forced to carry out the ruse under threat from another unnamed person, the court documents showed.

Frantisek Banda, who moved to Sweden with his mother and brother in 1998, was sentenced to two years in prison.

The court sentenced the mother and her youngest son Marian Banda, 30, to three years in prison. Both had denied providing wrongful information about Frantisek's condition.

The court ordered the trio to pay damages “equalling the amount of the benefits that were paid on erroneous grounds”, it said.