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Couple pretends to be blind, swindles 183,000 euros

Fake invalids caught receiving social benefits illegally

12 November, 17:19
Couple pretends to be blind, swindles 183,000 euros (ANSA) - Ragusa, November 12 - A couple in their early 60s has been caught swindling 183,000 euros in social benefits over the past nine years by pretending to be ill and blind.

The couple, accused of aggravated fraud, was nabbed by finance police in Ragusa, a city in Sicily.

A woman, 60, claimed to have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which left her completely blind, while her husband, 62, allegedly also suffered from multiple sclerosis. The disease left him unable to walk or function normally.

However, police say the couple was filmed leading a "normal" life, including shopping independently, carrying their own purchases, and checking out their appearances in mirrors while trying on clothing.

The couple, which had been assigned public housing, appeared at medical examinations with crutches and wheelchairs.