Lawmaker accused of Social Security fraud

Yesterday a former Missouri lawmaker was indicted on charges of theft and Social Security fraud, reports the News Tribune.

While still getting paid as a House member, the 65-year-old former Democratic House representative received nearly $60,000 in federal disability payments

“An elected official who is entrusted to make the law must also follow the law,” said the acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri. “This kind of deceit and illegal double-dipping from the public coffers is nothing less than theft.”

The man served as a representative from the Kansas City suburb of Sugar Creek from January 2003 until January 2011, earning an annual salary of more than $30,000. He failed to notify the federal government that he was employed as a legislator.

Because he said he was unable to work due to a neck injury sustained in a farm accident, the man began receiving Social Security disability benefits in February 2000. He failed to report his new employment when he completed a form in May 2003, stating again that he was unable to work because of his disability.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas City said that the Social Security Administration sent him a bill in 2008 seeking reimbursement for $58,917 of benefits that he had not been entitled to receive from January 2004 through February 2008.

If you or someone you know needs help with a Social Security Disability benefit claim, contact the Social Security lawyers at Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin.

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