The consequence for benefit fraud is a killer, and soon ex-Iron Maiden singer Paul Di’Anno will find that out for himself. The Daily Mail is reporting that Di’Anno is facing jail time for falsely collecting U.K. government benefits by claiming he suffered nerve damage to his back that prevented him from working. From 2002 to 2008, Di’Anno claimed a range of incapacity benefit, housing benefit and council tax handouts, by stating he suffered from sciatica, or nerve damage to the back. In the end, he ended up taking £45,000 ($72,000) of the taxpayers’ money. However, after an anonymous tip and after viewing YouTube videos taken from Di’Anno’s recent solo performance, the Department Of Work And Pensions (DWP) discovered that Di’Anno was still singing.
“You have got the sense and courage to plead guilty to these matters, but you have to understand that they are very serious… Although all sentence options will be open, you should prepare yourself for a prison sentence – and an immediate one at that,” Honorary Recorder Judge Andrew Barnett warned the singer in court yesterday. Di’Anno will be sentenced on March 11. The singer previously spent time in jail for drug and gun charges back in 1991. Last year marked the first time in 17 years that Di’Anno toured North America (due to the 1991 charges). Looks like it might be a while til we see him back in the States again though. Guess for now, fans will just have to watch him on YouTube (the thing that ended up blowing his cover).