• Austria's news in English

Doctor sentenced for benefits fraud

The Local · 24 Jul 2014, 16:44

Published: 24 Jul 2014 16:44 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Despite having a regular income, the woman applied to receive emergency assistance in 2005.

It was not until 2012 that financial police discovered her scam.

The doctor told a meeting of the magistrate's senate, chaired by Philipp Schnabel, that she "needed the money".

After losing her job, she applied to the Austrian Employment Service (AMS) for financial assistance.

However even after finding a new job, the physician continued to apply for aid, receiving around €58,000 in unemployment benefits over the years, for which she was no longer eligible.

Her fraud went unnoticed for some time as she had no official work contract, but rather worked on a fee per job basis. There was a considerable delay before she was taxed.

During questioning, the defendant explained that she was mired in debts of €700,000 - which she had apparently sought to pay off through her scams.

She had at that time assumed liability for her ex-husband, who had been declared bankrupt.

In explaining why the doctor had continued with her criminal conduct, her lawyer said she had been "desperate", in a state of "mental crisis" and was "simply no longer able to cope" with the financial burden. "Close your eyes, was her motto."

Story continues below…

Due to the serious nature of the fraud, the senate convicted the woman to one and a half years in prison, which was commuted to a three-year probation period.

The woman has agreed and the judgement is final.

The doctor will also be required to pay the money she defrauded back to the AMS in monthly instalments, until she is no longer receiving any income.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

Austrian policeman sentenced over 'Heil Hitler' salute
Photo: Flickr

A policeman in Austria was sentenced on Thursday for shouting "Heil Hitler" at a driver during a traffic check at the Hungarian border in April.

Scary clown craze endangers crucial work of clown 'doctors'
Photo: Bojan Tavcar

Within the last couple weeks, disturbing events involving masked individuals has caught public attention in Austria.

Chimney sweep rescues lost mushroom picker
Photo: James Lindsey/Wikimedia

A 76-year-old Austrian man who went out mushroom picking almost froze to death after getting lost and spending the night in the forest.

Refugees sold into forced prostitution
File photo: UNHCR

Female refugees are being sold into forced prostitution in Austria, a police investigation into human trafficking has found.

Driverless bus takes a spin around Salzburg's old town
The Arma driverless shuttle bus. Photo: Navya

A driverless minibus has made a test journey in the city of Salzburg.

No jail time for asylum seeker who dumped baby in road
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A man who grabbed his own child and dumped her in the middle of a busy road has been given a nine-month suspended sentence.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available