Södertälje welfare fraud convictions upheld by appeals court

On Thursday, the Svea court of appeals upheld the decision of a lower court to convict 34 people for involvement in a scam to cheat the Swedish Social Insurance Agency out of a combined SEK 29 million.

After the Södertälje district court's ruling last summer, all of the defendants appealed, and so did the prosecutor, who wanted to see tougher punishments. Thursday's ruling resulted in longer prison sentences for some, while others have had their penalties reduced.

For example, one of the ringleaders of the welfare scam will now be serving nine months longer, to make a total of 5 and a half years, up from the 4 years and nine months ruled by the district court. The other ringleader's sentence of six years remained unchanged.

Because of the scam, people with severe disabilities and illnesses did not get the assistance they had a right to, according to Swedish Radio News. People who had been promised around the clock care were left to their own devices and were only allowed to leave their apartments on rare occasions.