| A COUPLE has been arrested for reportedly claiming a dead man's retirement pension for the past 13 years.
María Elena T.P., 67, and her husband José Patricio Avelino, 69, both Chilean nationals, were exposed after a bank clerk became suspicious at the woman's reticence when asked to provide proof that the pension beneficiary was still alive.
Officers heard that María Elena ran the nursing home in Vallirana (Barcelona) where the deceased, who was born in 1916, passed away in 1998.
A decade later, having been claiming his pension all this time by taking advantage of her professional situation, registered the deceased on the census in her home town, Cervelló (Barcelona).
For 13 years, she would collect the pension every month – approximately 748 euros – from a bank branch in Sant Feliu de Llobregat (Barcelona) presenting a signed letter of authority from the beneficiary.
Whenever she was told that the man would have to be there in person, she said he was very old and had problems with movement.
It was said that on occasion the woman turned up with random elderly men and pretended they were the beneficiary of the pension she was claiming.
María Elena and José Patricio have been released with charges pending trial.