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Italian Woman Who Faked 17 Pregnancies And Claimed Millions In Maternity Benefit Jailed


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The woman has been sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison.(Representative pic)

An Italian woman who faked 17 pregnancies to make a small fortune in state benefits has been jailed. According to Metro, the woman, identified as 50-year-old Barbara Loele, falsely claimed that she had 12 miscarriages and 5 children over the period of 24 years. She received around 110,000 euros (approximately Rs 98 lakh) in maternity benefits and she also racked up a considerable amount of time off work as a result of her fake pregnancies. But prosecutors in her case said that none of the children she had during her purported pregnancies were registered with the state and had never been seen by officials or anyone else. 

According to the outlet, Ms Loele’s alleged fraud was made possible by the theft of birth certificates from a clinic in Rome and other forged documents. 

Ms Loele claimed to have delivered her latest child last December. However, police said that they had the 50-year-old under surveillance throughout the preceding nine months and that the whole pregnancy was a sham. They also accused the 50-year-old of using pillows to give herself the appearance of a baby bump, as well as walking as if carrying the additional weight of an unborn child. 

Ms Loele’s partner Davide Pizzinato confessed to the cops that he knew “full well” that she wasn’t pregnant. “It is indisputable, in light of the complete confession of Davide Pizzinato (Barbara’s partner), that they participated in the crime of aggravated fraud to the detriment of the public body,” wrote the judges in her sentencing, as reported by local outlet Clarin

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The outlet added that the woman presented false medical papers to collect state benefits. She and her partner “first deceived the Italian Health Assistance (ASL), which confirmed the requirements for early abstention from work and then presented it to the Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS) to obtain undue emoluments,” the outlet reported. 

Mr Pizzinato testified against Ms Loele in exchange for a lighter sentence, having also been charged as her accomplice in the fraud. However, the woman maintained her stand about giving birth to 5 children and having several miscarriages. 

Nevertheless, the Italian court charged Ms Loele with fraud and sentenced her to 1 year and 6 months in prison. 

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