Blind people able to read the letters taken from the post box, people unable to walk alone driving the car, individuals with the accompanying allowance caught in performing in group dances: they are the false invalid who have benefited illicitly from social security or welfare allowances thanks to an organization, discovered by the Guardia di Finanza, which operated in the Palermo area and dealt, in exchange for money, with the whole process to obtain the subsidy.
Two people are arrested and dozens of those investigated.
The investigation activities revealed that the subjects affected by today's precautionary measures – one dominus of the entire criminal system, the other his main collaborator – made use of a dense group of "patient finders" and accomplices who, to various title, they took on a role within the fraudulent system revealed.
The INPS scam was discovered by the men of the Economic and Financial Police Unit of Palermo at the end of an investigation coordinated by the prosecutor's office that led the investigating judge to issue two precautionary custody orders against a 57-year-old Antonino Randazzo from Terrasini, retired since 1991, and a 49-year-old Filippo Accardo di Camporeale (owner of two Cafes, one in Palermo in Corso Alberto Amedeo and one in Terrasini in via Santa Rosalia) on charges of competition in fraud against the State, aggravated fraud for the achievement of public contributions, ideological falsity and illicit trafficking. The complaint was instead filed for various subjects including civil servants, general practitioners and specialists, members of the ASL medical commission and managers of the Caf. According to what was reconstructed by the financiers, the two arrested were at the top of the organization, which made use of a series of collaborators and accomplices, and had set up a system so well-established over the years that they had become a sort of reference point for those who wanted obtain undue social security benefits.
The investigations ordered by the Public Prosecutor's Office of Palermo have made it possible to identify the steps followed by the suspects, who began with the search for "potential customers", identifying those who appeared "in need" and "available" to request "help" to obtain pension or social security awards.
Having established contact with "the candidate for disability", the suspects addressed him to compliant doctors who would have drawn up the certificates necessary to certify the existence of "useful" diseases for obtaining the allowances.
In order to avoid supporting the collegiate medical examination, in some cases, it was also formally attested to the impossibility of the subject to leave his home (so-called intra-portability), in order to serve as a servant to obtain the home visit during which complacent doctors would have expressed a favorable opinion on the continuation of the application.
Having, in fact, the possibility of having inside information, the suspects prepared the "candidate" on how to easily "pass" the check-up visit (being found in bed, having the door opened by family members, highlighting an inability to walk, with light and TV off).
Upon the liquidation of the benefits obtained from the alleged "invalid", the perpetrators of the criminal conduct passed to the collection of the payment for the illegal service according to a pre-established tariff, usually equal to the arrears paid by INPS, tendentially corresponding to about 12 months.
The operation "Igea" (Greek goddess of health who was invoked in ancient times for healing) allowed to unmask a totally blind invalid, intent on recovering the mail in the mailbox outside the home and then viewing it. Still several disabled people are unable to walk independently, but are able to drive the car or go to the bar or shop in complete autonomy. An invalid with accompanying allowance, but able to enjoy group dances.
Those arrested are contested for the crimes of competition in fraud against the State, fraud aggravated for the achievement of public contributions, ideological falsity, trafficking of illicit influences.
Client hunters were responsible for finding those willing to participate in the scam among those who seemed most in need and willing to ask for help. Once identified, the subjects were referred to the compliant doctors who signed the certificates with the false pathologies to request the allowances.
But not only that: the same doctors, in some cases, formally certified the transportability of the subjects in order to avoid a collective visit and obtain a home visit, where they 'prepared' the false disabled on the behaviors to be carried out in the control visit. Once the whole process was concluded and the false invalid had obtained the benefits provided by law, the organization went to the collection with a pre-established tariff: generally a year of indemnity, equal to the arrears paid by INPS.
With the same arrest warrant, the investigating magistrate also ordered the seizure of 100 thousand euros.
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