Keep on Trucking

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30532226 - closeup of bandaged arm in the park

People who qualify for and receive disability payments can also be compensated for working while receiving a monthly payment as long as they follow specific rules set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA). One Mississippi man thought he could avoid reporting his job as a truck driver while receiving disability benefits from the government, but because he didn’t follow the rules it looks like he can’t keep on trucking. (Or earning a dual income.)

Government disability payments are based on how much additional income is received while working a legitimate job. When a person earns more than the limit the agency allows, the government payments decrease or stop depending on the amount earned. (So it’s pretty easy to understand why a fraudster wouldn’t want to report their earnings. By failing to disclose his additional income, this fraudster pocketed two incomes instead of one.)

As you know, the government doesn’t just doll out free money without specific guidelines or offering incentives to encourage the disabled to work. The SSA actually offers free vocational rehabilitation, job training, and referrals to the disabled. (I’d say that’s a pretty nice perk.)

The trucker kept up his ruse for more than six years by claiming he was unable to work because of his disability. (During that time, he kept on trucking earning more bucks while also receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefit payments.)

The 46-year-old was sentenced to five months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. He will also have to pay $105,702.90 in restitution to the SSA. (That adds up to around $17,500 a year for doing nothing to earn it.)

This dishonest truck driver used his rig to rig the disability system in his favor. In the end, he didn’t get very far along his illegal route. Perhaps a brief trip to prison will help him to learn how to avoid shortcuts and to find a more direct path to earning a living in the future.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a press release entitled, ”Vancleave Man Sentenced for Social Security Fraud,” released on November 4, 2016.

Gulfport, Miss – Ricky Wade Perry, 46, of Vancleave, Mississippi, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola, Jr. to five months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release for theft of government funds, announced U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis. Perry was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $105,702.90 to the Social Security Administration.

Perry represented to the Social Security Administration that from July, 2009, through March, 2015, he was unable to return to work due to a disability. However, Perry did in fact perform substantial work in the truck driver business during this time period and failed to disclose his true work activities to the Social Security Administration. As a result, Perry caused an overpayment to him of Social Security Disability Insurance benefit payments in the amount of $105,702.90.

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