A man who claimed disability benefits while regularly going to the gym and appearing as a potential zillionaire investor on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den programme has been jailed for 18 months and ordered to repay £20 million in benefit claims.
Zacharias Scrunt, 46, of Scumford Mansions at Smegmadale-on-Sea, claimed more than £22,000,000 over a nineteen-year period. He told officials he had a bad back condition known as ‘Matressitis’ and he could hardly walk after slipping on the Jobcentre stairs.
Smegmadale Crown Court heard how Scrunt began claiming disability allowance in October 1989 – and continued for almost twenty years until adroitly spotted by Jack the Grass – a sharp-eyed Benefits Agency snitch – when he appeared as an investor on Dragon’s Den.
Following the tip-off from Mr Grass investigators began a month-long surveillance operation during which they saw no visible signs of Scrunt’s alleged disability – apart from when he visited the Benefits Agency office on crutches.
Agents from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) filmed him jogging along the Smegmadale beach front and also break dancing in an adults-only swingers’ nightclub.
During this time he was repeatedly seen carrying large attaché cases full of laundered cash to deposit in his bank and riding his mountain bike up and down ‘mountains’.
Witnesses also told the DWP that Scrunt had been lifting weights and using body building equipment at the elite members-only Disability Benefit Cheats Gym – and was apparently on their Le Parkour free-running team.
Mrs. Rita Scrunt, the accused’s mother, told a reporter from the Scroungers Gazette “Little Zaccy really did hurt his back when he went arse over tit down the Jobcentre stairs that time an’ they started payin’ him all this sickness benefit money an’ he was laid up on the sofa watchin’ telly all day cos he couldn’t walk so he got his head into all these bankin’ programmes an’ he invested it in the stock market an’ other good shit like that an’ ends up makin’ effin’ millions.”
“Anyway some Greek bloke called Theo Fuckinopolis at our yacht club asks him if he wants ter go on Dragon’s Den wiv him an’ invest in some shit-fer-brains punter’s scheme – so Zaccy sez ‘okay’ – just fer a laugh.”
“Next thing some twat recognises him on there an’ grasses him up an’ he gets collared by the DWP’s Gestapo blokes.”
“It’s all bollocks really – but Zaccy got his fifteen minutes of fame like Andy Warhol promised – now he’s in the nick.”