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'Too sick to work' teacher rakes in Swiss cash

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'Too sick to work' teacher rakes in Swiss cash
Photo: DPA
11:53 CET+01:00
A German teacher who went into early retirement on a state pension after he was classified as too sick to work was found to be earning €9,900 a month in Switzerland. A court this week handed him a €20,000 fine for pension fraud.

The 61-year-old Martin B. taught economics and social studies at the Theodor Heuss vocational business school in Wetzlar, Hesse, until 1997. After he fell out with the school directors, he reported himself sick and retired aged 46, the Bild newspaper reported on Wednesday.

But unbeknownst to German authorities, the teacher took up a post at a private business school in Bern, Switzerland in 2001, where he taught law for a monthly pre-tax salary of 12,000 Swiss francs, or €9,900.

Bild reported that he continued to take a state pension benefits up to €2,000 a month until 2004, when the Hesse state learned of his lucrative Swiss job.

Despite this, he continued to claim his private occupational disability insurance of €988 a month, even though a Federal Administrative Court ruled he was fit to work in 2010.

The court confirmed an earlier verdict, sentencing Martin B. to a suspended sentence of one year and a €20,000 fine. He remained silent throughout the case, but his lawyer said his client intends to appeal to a higher regional court.

He has since been sacked without notice by the Bern school, and faces a claim for €90,000 from his private insurer. But he does have something to fall back on - he is entitled to €4,000 a month of Swiss unemployment benefit for up to two and a half years.

The Local/bk

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