15 Apr 2018

Conman jailed for £250,000 benefit fraud

A conman who convinced a doctor he was a quadriplegic by just sitting in a wheelchair, has been sent to prison for over three years for a £250,000 benefit fraud.

Truro Crown Court was told Brian Matthews, from Penzance, spun a web of lies over more than 20 years that involved impersonating a dead man, lying about being a carer for his autistic children and disabled wife, and pretending to be a quadriplegic; all to fund his gambling addiction.

Matthews had an industrial accident in 1996 that left him with minor injuries, and managed to convince authorities that he was a quadriplegic (suffering from paralysis of both arms and both legs) until he was arrested in 2016.

He forged doctor’s notes and persuaded a Truro GP who didn’t feel it necessary to examine him, instead trusting that he was a quadriplegic because he was in a wheelchair.

Brian Matthews told Truro crown court “I am actually saving the government a lot of money” before judge Robert Linford sentenced him to three years, six and a half months in prison for committing nearly £250,000 in benefit fraud

Judge Robert Linford said at the sentencing: “You are, Mr Matthews, a con man.”


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