Working is essential, part-time or full-time jobs are common for most people. No matter how much you love your work, there are some days when we all want to quit everything.
The problem is that money doesn’t come to us for anything and we wouldn’t be able to live without a salary to sustain our routine expenses like food, public services, or whims. This seems impossible for an independent average person, but there is a man who achieved the dream of many.
Salvatore Scumace didn’t skip his work for a week or two, he didn’t attend for over 15 years and practically anyone noticed it. This unbelievable event took place in the Arnaldo Pugliese Ciaccio Hospital in Puglia, a town in the South of Italy, where he ‘worked’ as a security officer, but his mischief caused him big consequences other than getting his monthly payment taking him to make almost 650,000 dollars. He only attended his position the first day when he had to sign the contract and never returned to do his obligations.
After Scumace was transferred to the fire department of the hospital in 2005 he stopped showing up, but in administration manners, he was still present in his job. He managed this because he kept threatening his superiors to keep paying him. Many people were involved in the scam, they covered his back but no one talked about it.
Even when his superiors retired, the transgression didn’t stop, the incoming people to cover the retired didn’t notice the absence of the man since they didn’t know him, but he was still on the payroll, and no one in human resources bothered to check the identity of this mysterious man.
Whoever wanted to accuse him of the police or present a disciplinary report against him, gained a threat from ‘The King of Truants’ since he had many influences that harassed people and their families to keep everybody quiet. However, no one in the hospital is charging him about this. Now he faces charges of abuse of office, forgery, and extortion. But he isn’t the only one who has an open case, there are other six managers who are being prosecuted for contributing to his crime.
His offense was noticed in July of 2020 because of a strict law that the government decided to apply in 2016 after the many inconsistencies in the public employment sector. The law developed various investigations in different regions of the country where they noticed that absences in jobs were a common thing for public workers, who did many stunts to mock the system, like only going to work in their pajamas and clocking to leave immediately and socialize, play poker, go to the beach or anything they want.
The skippers were caught on camera doing this for over two years but Scumace still beat them as the head of the felony. Some of them did this in the same hospital where 57 employees were doing similar things, while others were snagged in other regions like San Remo in the North of the country.
The case of Salvatore Scumace was noticed by an anti-mafia magistrate called Nicola Gatteri who worked along with the financial police to do an exhaustive investigation with the code name of Part-Time. He saw some discrepancies between Scumace’s alleged activity and his salary.
He wasn’t fired right away when he was discovered, it was necessary to do a second investigation to obtain different proofs and make sure he didn’t have the protection he had before from the commission that was accusing him.
They examined the reports and the shifts and even interviewed many co-workers about the issue to build a proper accusation. The 67-year-old now has to return all of the 538,000 euros he obtained over the years, but he isn’t going to jail yet. He can use his properties and goods to pay off the debt, and if he is accused he can face 15 years of prison.
This is a recurrent problem in Italy and it has caused the country many problems in the national economy. In 2015 there was a report that about 15% of public transportation conductors in Rome didn’t show up to work, and on many occasions, 80% of the police officers in Rome were reported sick after New Year’s Eve. This shows how Salvatore Scumace’s is only one of the infinite number of similar cases in Italy.
This stunt was surely elaborated and how he managed to keep it for a decade and a half is unbelievable, nobody thought it was odd that this man never had any responsibilities regarding working since he told everybody he was already retired. But everything good comes to an end, after living comfortably for a long time, he now is on the verge of spending the last years of his life surrounded by criminals.