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Italian hospital employee paid €538,000 - despite never turning up for work in 15 years

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The man had been paid for 15 years despite never turning up for work
The man had been paid for 15 years despite never turning up for work   -   Copyright  Italy's financial police
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A hospital employee in Italy is facing criminal charges over claims he received a full salary for his 15 years of employment - despite never turning up for work.

Salvatore Scumace, in his mid-60s, is said to have been hired in 2005 in the fire safety department of the Pugliese-Ciaccio public hospital in Catanzaro.

But he never clocked in, according to investigators.

Scumace earned more than €538,000 during his overall tenure, Italy's financial police said in a statement sent to Euronews.

He is under investigation for fraud, extortion and abuse of office.

Police said the suspect allegedly had someone threaten a hospital superior in 2005 to keep him on the payroll.

Also under investigation are six of his superiors who failed to take action or sanction him even after launching an internal investigation.

The six under investigation have been named as as Nino Critelli, 66, Vittorio Prejanò, 64, Maria Pia De Vito, 68, Domenico Canino, 62, Laura Fondacaro, 52, and Antonio Molè, 53.