An Italian man who went to great lengths to convince everyone that he had lost the ability to walk after being involved in a staged car accident 12 years ago was recently exposed as a fraud.
The incredible story of Roberto Guglielmi, an Italian con artist who managed to fool everyone, including doctors, neighbors and even the Pope, that he couldn’t walk began over a decade ago. In 2007, he came up with a plan to pass himself off as a disabled person and collect the pension offered by the government, but he needed an accomplice to pull it off. At the time, he had someone living in his home who was behind on rent, so he proposed to forget about the payment he was owed if his housemate would pretend to hit him with the car while he was crossing the street. The man agreed and everything went smoothly. With the help of a false medical document, Guglielmi was able to become a paraplegic, even though he could walk like a normal person.
What’s most remarkable about this tale of deception is the extreme lengths that the Florentine went to in order to deceive doctors during mandatory visits to confirm his disability. According to prosecutors, he would inject lidocaine into his legs to numb his muscles, undergo traumatic therapies and use a wheelchair whenever he left his home. For over a decade, no one suspected that he was actually a healthy person with full use of his legs.