Mother, Father and Daughter Sentenced in SSA Disability Fraud Case
Posted on Jun 23, 2012
A 30-year Social Security disability fraud scheme came to an end in the U.S. District Court in Seattle on June 3, 2012, when three members of the same family were sentenced for bilking the Social Security Administration and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to the tune of $300,000.
U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan reported the sentencing of Johnny George, 54, his wife Linda George, 55, and their daughter Christina George, 28. The three received sentences of 27 months in prison, 37 months in prison, and six months of electronic home confinement, respectively. Paul George, the son, will face his sentence June 29.
Over a period of over 30 years, the parents and their children pretended that various members of their family were developmentally disabled. The George family parents applied for benefits and also had their children apply. All the applications claimed disability or caregiver benefits for other family members.
Over three decades, the family collected more than $338.000 in undeserved benefits. In 1979, Johnny George applied for disability under a second Social Security number. In 1983, his son also applied. Although both claimed to be developmentally disabled, the father managed to own and operate a used car lot. Both used fake identities to work while collecting.
Linda George cashed over 650 monthly benefit checks for her son and husband over the years and their daughter used false identities to collect benefits as a caregiver for a man who was also defrauding the government and who lived over 150 miles away from her.
Prosecutors in the case noted that the money the family received would have supported 45 Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries for a year and asked that the charges should be “regarded as crimes against the poor and punished accordingly.”
The New England disability attorneys at Keefe Disability Law are pleased to see that justice was done in this case. Every instance of fraud in collecting government benefits risks eroding public support for legitimate benefits by disabled Americans.