The 68-year-old pensioner has been cashing his mother’s pension, now worth €700 a month, at the Rome post office for the past 14 years.
But the post office manager became suspicious on realizing that if still alive his mother would have reached the remarkable age of 104, Roma Today reported. After tipping off the police, authorities discovered that she had, in fact, died in 2000.
They launched a sting operation at the post office, where the pensioner was stopped by police on Saturday as he picked up the monthly cash installment. Since his mother died he has illegally claimed more than €100,000, Rome Today said.
The news comes less than two months after police in southern Italy discovered a 51-year-old man had hidden his mother’s dead body in a freezer in order to continue to pick up her pension.
The case was just the latest in a string of similar incidents in which family members have concealed their elderly relatives’ bodies in order to claim their state benefits.