For over 15 years, Brian Matthews, 51, was paralyzed with no feeling in his arms or legs. At least, that’s what he told his doctors.
In order to claim disability benefits, the Department of Work and Pensions says that doctors and medical professionals take descriptions of disabilities on trust to provide documents.
So Matthews decided to use this system of trust to his benefit, pulling off a scam to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars in disability benefits.
But he wasn’t actually disabled in the first place. The con man got away with the scam for 15 years, claiming the entire time to be a quadriplegic.
Matthews’ manipulation was so convincing that trusting doctors gave him medical documents without examinations or proper testing.
Matthews seemed to be confined to a motorized wheelchair and the use of crutches. He also submitted false documents to further his scam.
But evidence collected over the years has revealed that the 51-year-old is indeed capable of walking without any aid at all.
Back in 2012, he was caught walking around outside. In 2017, he was again found walking when wheeling his wife into a hospital in a wheelchair.
On a separate occasion, police went to Matthews’ home after finding his electric wheelchair half a mile away. They found him without walking aids.
In court, Matthews admitted to saying he couldn’t use his arms or legs to claim almost $700,000 in disability benefits.
And even though he admitted to the fraud, he still showed up to court in his electric wheelchair carrying crutches.
“He presently understands it that he is unable to stand without aids, he accepts that hasn’t always been the case,” his lawyer said.
He admitted to six counts of making a false representation and two counts of fraud. However, he denied other charges.
A thorough medical examination will be conducted to determine how much truth is in Matthews’ claims about his current disabilities.
So far, of the nearly $700,000, he has pleaded guilty to nearly $300,000 in offenses, and the remaining are still awaiting his medical tests.
Matthews’ sentence date is April 13. He is currently out on bail, but even the judge sent him a warning stating, “the overwhelming likelihood is that [he] will receive a lengthy jail sentence.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.