As written about in last week’s post, Social Security disability benefits are intended for those who are fully disabled and completely unable to work. However, there are people in Illinois and elsewhere who take advantage of the system. Recently, one man admitted to stealing close to $90,000 in Social Security disability benefits.
The 55-year-old man in question is from Trenton, New Jersey. Just this week, he pleaded guilty in federal court to theft of government funds and misrepresentation of a Social Security number.
Court documents indicate that the man began receiving disability benefits in August 1999. He continued to receive the benefits until July of last year. However, by using his brother’s Social Security number he was able to have a driver’s license made. Under his brother’s identity he gained employment at three different companies while continuing to receive disability benefits. He apparently made more than $188,000 in income from the three jobs.
The man also collected more than $28,000 in workers’ compensation benefits under his brother’s name after he was injured at work.
The man is required to pay around $90,000 in restitution to the Social Security Administration. Additionally, he must pay AmGuard Insurance Co. slightly more than $28,000 for the workers’ compensation benefits he illegally obtained.
The man could face as many as 15 years behind bars. He may also be required to pay up to $500,000 in fines. He will learn his fate at the end of April.
There are millions of American’s who rely on disability benefits, and many others who are in need of them. The man in this case was at fault for not only breaking the law, but also for taking money away from people who are in need of help.
Source: The Trentonian, “Man admits stealing $90K in SSI benefits, brother’s identity for worker’s comp,” Jan. 17, 2012