Disability News

A keen long-distance runner who claimed disability allowance saying he could barely walk has been jailed for a year for benefit fraud after being filmed taking part in a 10K run.

Stefan Dudek, 51, also worked as a crowd steward at Everton Football Club and travelled the British Isles providing security for rock concerts and sporting events while claiming almost £49,000 in benefits he was not entitled to.

He enjoyed working out at home in Liverpool where he had built up a collection of heavy gym equipment including dumb bells, an exercise bench and other weights.

And, despite is claims to be unable to work, he had been enjoying running events for the past eight years achieving "very creditable" times for a man of his age, the court heard.

But his luck ran out after the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) began an undercover investigation.

He was secretly filmed taking part in a 10K (6.2mile) run in Liverpool as well as working at various venues doing crowd control including at Everton.

After pleading guilty to two charges of failing to notify the Department of a change of circumstances and asking for as many as 241 further offences to be taken into consideration, he received a one-year sentence.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that he had been claiming disability living allowance since 1989 and incapacity benefit since 1993. The claims were initially legitimate because of cerebral palsy and depression.

But when his condition improved in 1998 and he took up a more active lifestyle, he continued to claim the benefits amassing an overpayment of £48,652 over nine years, prosecutor Kevin Slack said.

He entered his first race the following year where he managed to run 6.2 miles (10km) in just under 50 minutes.

As well as stewarding at football matches, Dudek signed up with a security company and worked at a boxing bout in Dublin, a festival on the Isle of Wight and a Neil Diamond concert in Manchester, investigators found.

Sentencing him, Judge Mark Brown said: "Since 1998 you abused the system in a deliberate and serious way.

"You obtained a large amount of public money that would otherwise have gone to more needy individuals.

"That is money that otherwise might go to the health service or education service. You are a very dishonest person."


FROM http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2470438/Disabled-benefit-fraudster-caught-running-mini-marathon.html