An Austrian man kept his mother’s body in a freezer in his home for more than a year so he could claim her pension and care allowance.
The 66 year old mummified the corpse to prevent odour using ice packs and used bandages to absorb bodily fluids.
His scheme was foiled after a new postman demanded to see the recipient before handing over the envelope with benefits.
When the son refused, the postman became suspicious and reported him to authorities.
Over the course of a year he pocketed €50,000.
He lied to his brother when he enquired about their mother, saying she was in hospital.
Police found the body when they visited the house on September 4.
The woman, who lived with her son near Innsbruck, died in June 2020 aged 89, Austrian police said.
When officers questioned the man he admitted freezing the remains of his mother in his basement.
Helmut Gufler from the police fraud department at Austria’s ORF broadcaster said the man also used cat litter to soak up any liquids seeping from the body.
"He covered his mother with cat litter and finally the corpse was mummified,” he said.
A postmortem ruled out murder but the man has been charged with committing fraud and hiding a human corpse.