NewsItalian pensioner's 34-year blindness scam uncovered after he's spotted reading and using ATM

Italian pensioner's 34‑year blindness scam uncovered after he's spotted reading and using ATM

A 84-year-old blind man from Turin turned out to be a fraudster.
A 84-year-old blind man from Turin turned out to be a fraudster.
Images source: © Getty Images
6:07 AM EST, February 10, 2024

The elderly Italian man, an 84-year-old from the suburbs of Turin, pretended to be blind for 34 years. He initially applied for a pension in the 90s due to poor vision. Later on, he claimed to have completely lost his sight and sought full disability benefits.

Polsatnews.pl revealed his case, citing reports from the Italian agency Ansa. The truth of the matter surfaced after several months of thorough investigation. Detectives were sent to follow the man and obtained conclusive evidence of his fraudulence.

The man was first ruled to have a high degree of disability back in 1990. His medical documentation indicated that his condition had progressively worsened over the years, leading to total blindness officially confirmed in 2020.

However, 34 years later, the situation was revealed to be a sham. His cover was blown when he was found performing tasks that a blind person would be incapable of. The 84-year-old was seen using ATMs, reading obituaries displayed on walls near his home, and easily navigating city streets clearly avoiding all obstacles.

The elderly man will now face charges for fraud. The doctors who had confirmed his supposed health deterioration will also be held responsible. Italian media suggest that more people might have been involved in this deception.

The Italian man faked blindness for years, exposed when he was spotted reading obituaries

As a result, the pensioner is obliged to compensate the state for the money falsely claimed over 34 years. His apartment on the outskirts of the town of Ciriè has been seized for this purpose. Additionally, a court officer accessed his bank account containing 90 thousand euros (\$107,588). The exact amount he may have embezzled over the years is still to be determined.

According to Italian media covering this case, it's not an isolated incident for this city. A few years ago, Ciriè police arrested an 83-year-old man driving a three-wheeled vehicle who was registered as blind. He was subsequently charged with embezzling 100 thousand euros (\$119,541).

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