A man in Zurich has been sentenced to close to four years in prison after receiving more than half a million francs of welfare despite possessing numerous cars and large bank balances, according to Tages-Anzeiger and reported in 20 Minutes.
The 51 year old man from Kosovo, who received CHF 527,000 of welfare money between 2003 and 2014, failed to declare eight bank accounts, one with a balance of around CHF 196,000. In addition, between 2003 and 2015, he’d owned 31 cars.
When questioned in court about the welfare payments the man claimed he could not remember and that the money in the bank accounts was not his. The judge decided his testimony was unreliable because he was unable to justify how he had obtained and transferred amounts totaling CHF 468,000 and sentenced him to nearly 4 years (45 months) in prison.
The fraud was uncovered after the man was placed under police surveillance following several road violations, such as running red lights and driving on the footpath, and petty theft.
A law allowing welfare agencies to hire private detectives to observe suspected welfare cheats comes into force on 1 October 2019.