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Dad gets prison for daughter's fake autism

Dec. 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM

MALMO, Sweden, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A 46-year-old Swedish man was sentenced to four years in prison for forcing his daughter to pretend she had autism to qualify for public assistance.

From 2003 to 2010, he told the National Social Insurance Agency and local authorities his daughter was infantile and struggled to express herself. He reported she could only communicate with sounds and body language, which led her to be diagnosed with autism and severe developmental disabilities. For support, the government issued him roughly 25,000 kronor (about $3,574) a week.

Last fall, the now 18-year-old girl fled home with her boyfriend and reported her father to authorities. The Swedish news agency TT reported she was examined at a youth home and found to have a high level of mental ability, contrary to her previous diagnoses.

Her father was convicted of aggravated fraud and aggravated benefits crimes. He received a total of about 2.4 million kronor (about $343,100) in public benefits, meant for the care of his daughter.

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