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Italian man ‘cashed in more than £430k without working at his job in 15 years’

An Italian man reportedly managed to be paid for more than 15 years without going to work once.

The man, now in his late 60s, was hired at the fire prevention centre at a hospital in Calabria, southern Italy, in 2005, but never carried out a day of work there, local media claimed.

According to resurfaced accounts, the man would have received more than £430,000 (€500,000) during the time he was hired at the hospital in that role.

In order to succeed in his record absence from work and avoid disciplinary actions, the man was accused of having other people threaten those who could denounce his behaviour.

The stunning case of absenteeism came to light following an investigation by the Italian Finance Police.

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In April 2021, Italian media reported the man had been placed under investigation for fraud, extortion and abuse of office.

Six of his superiors at the hospital had also been looked into over the incident.

The man had been fired without notice from the hospital in October 2020 – a few months before the officers’ investigation had come to light – after a probe carried out by the hospital.

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The latest reported development into the case dates back to May 2021, when lawyers representing the man fought back by filing a statement to the prosecutor’s office.

Their intention reflected the man’s desire to let the public prosecutor know “facts and circumstances not found in the investigation’s papers” which he hoped would clarify his situation.

The move, the lawyers added, became necessary following the huge media interest his case sparked since the day the investigation was closed, which resulted in the man being “constantly followed by cameramen and reporters who effectively bar him from being able to leave his doorstep”.

Italy has seen a fair number of absenteeism scandals over the years.

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Recently, a literature and philosophy teacher was accused by the Italian Education Ministry of keeping out of the classroom for 20 out of her 24 years of service.

While for the first 10 years she was reportedly completely absent, her absences in the other 14 years were attributed to sickness, personal or family reasons.

Describing herself now as a freelance journalist, the teacher told Italian media that she had documents to refute the claim that she had been absent for 20 years, and has vowed to tell her own side of the story.

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