Published Feb 11, 2011Former Iron Maiden vocalist Paul "Di'Anno" Andrews has been charged with defrauding the UK government of approximately £45,000 ($71,000 Canadian) over the course of six years, running from 2002 to 2008.
As the Daily Mail reports [via Blabbermouth], the 52-year-old singer (who was ousted from his band in 1981) had been claiming/collecting compensation doled out to those unable to work from various physical injuries. Citing sciatica -- a form of nerve damage affecting the back -- as the cause of his inability to maintain steady employ, Di'Anno received a number of handouts from the government, such as incapacity benefits, housing benefits and council tax relief during that time.
His luck ran out, however, when an anonymous tip led the country's Department of Work and Pensions to learn what every metalhead around the globe already knows: Di'Anno is fine and dandy. Searching him out on YouTube and his own website, agents found footage of Di'Anno performing live, jumping and bandying about.
Due to the investigation's findings, Di'Anno was arrested at Heathrow airport last year. Since that time, the burly Brit has appeared in court to enter a guilty plea.
Judge Andrew Barnett was quoted as stating: "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."
Di'Anno's sentence will be handed down on March 11. He previously served time in jail for gun and drug offences in the early '90s.