A self-proclaimed psychic from Stafford, England named Tim Abbott was caught lying redhanded. He was receiving disability checks from the government for supposedly being too hurt to work.
Unfortunately for him, an investigator secretly filmed him hitting the treadmill, using the rowing machine, and lifting weights without problems.
His spouse, Janette, also lied about a disability and was receiving benefits. She claimed to have multiple sclerosis and stated that it prevented her from being able to work a regular job.
Aside from claiming these benefits, she also received a ‘carers allowance’ for looking after her husband, who lied about being disabled and needing help doing things. They must now pay back a sum of $183,450 between the two.
Officials held a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Stafford Crown Court on August 10th against him and his wife. They told the couple that if they didn’t repay the money in three months, they could each spend up to two years in prison.
54-year-old Abbott calls himself an ‘evidencial platform medium’ and a ‘spiritualist clairvoyant medium and tutor’ on his website. During the hearing, the court heard about how between 1998 and 2014, Abbott claimed $22,848 in disability living allowance and $35,496 in incapacity benefits.
However, his luck ran out in 2012 when he was secretly filmed. They witnessed him exerting himself at the gym with no signs of physical pain or problems.
Lying Psychic Couple No Stranger To Cheating And Scamming
He had a different hearing in 2014 where he admitted to having failed to pay $9,532 in national insurance contributions and income taxes. The court heard about how the total amount he had accepted was $86,524.
Officials determined that his wife’s benefits totaled about $123,022. Over $44,000 of that was in the carers allowance, and about $19,477 was a disability allowance. Investigators were also secretly watching her, and at one point, they busted her while out shopping.
She was seen shopping and carrying heavy bags around the town center and a supermarket with no issues. As a result of their scam, Abbott spent eight months in jail, and she received an eight-month suspended prison sentence.
He is now a free man and has begun booking customers for his psychic services once again. The investigation into the couple by the Department for Work and Pensions began thanks to a tip-off they received.
A spokesman for the department states that fraudulent claims make it more difficult for individuals who genuinely have difficulties and disabilities to get the help they need.
“Fortunately, only a small minority of benefit claimants are dishonest. However, cases like this show how we are rooting out the unscrupulous minority who are cheating the system. Individuals who are diverting taxpayers’ money from those who really need it.
We are determined to find those we suspect of abusing the welfare system by following up on tip-offs, undertaking surveillance, and working with local councils,” said the spokesman.