Saturday, February 12, 2011

Former Iron Maiden singer faces jail time for benefit fraud

This might sound fairly obvious, but, if you’re going to try and cheat the health care system, don’t post online videos of yourself working while collecting benefits.

That has to be at least one of the lessons learned by former Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’anno (aka Paul Andrews), who is now facing jail time after being caught making fraudulent health claims.

The UK Daily Mail reports Andrews, 52, claimed he suffered nerve damage in his back which prevented him from working, but a 2006 live concert video posted on YouTube – and other footage featured on his own website - showed him jumping around on stage during live shows.

Andrews was busted when Department of Work and Pensions investigators – thanks to an anonymous tip - saw the 2006 YouTube video; he has admitted in court to swindling taxpayers out of more than £45,000, including wrongly claiming income support of more than £10,000 between 2005 and 2008, as well as other benefits dating back to 2002.

Paul was eventually arrested last year at Heathrow and charged with fraud.

In court, he was told to "prepare" for a jail sentence after admitting eight counts of benefit fraud at Salisbury Crown Court.

"You have got the sense and courage to plead guilty to these matters, but you have to understand that they are very serious,” said Honorary Recorder Judge Andrew Barnett. “Although all sentence options will be open, you should prepare yourself for a prison sentence - and an immediate one at that.”

As the lead singer of Iron Maiden between 1978 and 1981, Andrews appeared on the band’s first two albums and the e.p., “Maiden Japan”; he will be sentenced on March 11.

For more details, check out the Daily Mail here.

Paul Di’anno w/Power Slaves – Murders In The Rue Morgue
The Imperial Theatre - Quebec City, PQ – April 8, 2006