A 60-year-old who claimed to be blind and received around €30,000 from 2014 to 2018 from the Italian state is accused of faking his disability after being caught looking at a woman’s bottom.
The 60-year-old, who lives in the northern city of Turin, was out of his home when the Italian Guardia di Finanza, Italy’s financial police, caught him looking back at a passing woman in March of 2018 to catch a glimpse of her bottom, despite the man claiming to be completely blind.
Local prosecutor Gianfranco Colace has indicted the man for pretending to be blind and pocketing €29,740 (£24,619/$32,186) of taxpayer cash over the course of four years between 2014 and 2018, the newspaper Il Giornale reports.
It is unclear how the man was able to fool the medical experts who would have had to sign off on his disability and allowed him to collect the government cash, as the man was declared completely blind.
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According to Roberta Alba, the lawyer for the accused man, he suffers from a genetic disease that has reduced his vision.
“There are medical records that prove it. What has probably been ignored by the investigators is that you do not have to be in a condition of total darkness or not to see anything, to be declared blind,” he said.
“There are very serious situations, like this, where however a peripheral vision remains, albeit very limited, perhaps in one eye. That is, there are different nuances,” he added. The trial for the man is set to take place on May 25th after being postponed.
The case comes just months after another person in Palermo, Sicily, was caught driving a car, shopping and riding a scooter while claiming to the government that he was also blind.
The 40-year-old was arrested in December after being placed under surveillance by the Guardia di Finanza. They became suspicious of him when he renewed his driving license in 2018, despite collecting at least €170,000 (£140,689/$184,013) in disability benefits since 2008.
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