Alan Knight faked being a quadriplegic and pretended to be in a coma for two years.
The Swansea 47-year-old – who claimed benefits for a "spine injury" that he claimed caused him seizures, leaving him in a "comatose state" – conned his pensioner neighbour out of £40,000 over two years and used the money to go on shopping trips and holidays, Swansea crown court heard.
He was caught on CCTV shopping in a supermarket and driving his car.
Knight's wife, Helen, was in on the scam, and pretended to "care" for him in hospital and pushed him around in a wheelchair.
Swansea crown court was told that doctors at the hospital (where he admitted himself at least twice to avoid court) noticed something was wrong when Knight – who claimed he was paralysed from the neck down – was seen eating, wiping his face, and writing.
Knight pleaded guilty to theft and forgery and is due to be sentenced in November.
The court was told that the pensioner who was targeted by Knight has been reimbursed by her bank.