5 Feb, 2020 @ 18:15
1 min read

BEYOND THE GRAVE: Millions scammed as pensions from dozens of dead people emerges

Pension Scam

Police have launched an investigation into the multi-million pension scam involving over 50 dead people.

So far the probe launched with the department of Social Security has found at least six million euros in illegally drawn pensions.

According to a Policia Nacional spokesman, a total of 55 cases were recorded during 2019 alone.

In total they have found €6.4 million illegally withdrawn from deceased persons’ pension accounts.

Statistics showed that the main culprit of the withdrawals was family members close to the deceased, often spouses, children or grandchildren.

It wasn’t always deceased accounts either, as some accounts were from elderly people who were living abroad in areas including South America, North America and elsewhere in Europe. 

During the investigation, detectives researched over:

  • 12,586 improper payments
  • 75 bank accounts
  • 23 cases with more than €100,000 defrauded
  • 40 pensions that were more than ten years old
  • 22 deaths that occurred before 2000
  • 11 deaths of Spanish pensioners that occurred abroad

In an example of one case, a woman whose mother passed away years prior, used an ‘actress’ to continue withdrawing cash from her pension fund, using false documentation and collecting almost €74,000 in total.

Another was a bank employee that used his knowledge of the system to claim the payments of a previous client that died.

He forged cash receipts, log records and used other elderly clients to fool his colleagues. 

In total 11 people have so far been arrested and a further 25 are currently under investigation across 21 provinces across the country.

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