A 62-year-old Plaquemine man pleads guilty for fraudulent collection of more than $450,000 in disability income.
Plaquemine resident Donald “Duck” Daigle reportedly worked multiple jobs and ran a local business during the period in question, according to The Advocate. Daigle claimed the inability to work after suffering injuries from a car crash back in 1998. However, he simultaneously collected disability payments in the aftermath of the accident while working several jobs – including the management of a convenience store.
According to the report, federal prosecutors claim Daigle collected over $457,000 in Social Security disability income for nearly 20 years. The former owner of Duck’s Quick Stop and Pizza worked as a chemical plant forklift operator and truck driver as well during the period of collecting disability payments.
A criminal complaint related to this fraudulent collection of disability payments was reportedly filed in Baton Rouge within the U.S. District Court.
U.S. Attorney Brandon Frenin expressed his belief Tuesday that the plea will provide a “clear warning” to those who believe fraudulent conduct of this nature will be allowed to continue and go unnoticed. Frenin further stated that those who steal benefits from any type of federal program deserve federal investigations and aggressive prosecution.
Social Security Administration Inspector General Gail S. Ennis states that the agency is “gratified” by the guilty plea in this case. Ennis went on to explain that the agency will keep upholding the integrity of the disability programs through the pursuit of anyone who intentionally receives benefits for which they are not eligible.
A Social Security fraud can currently lead to a maximum of five years in prison along with a fine of up to $250,000. The U.S. States Department of Justice website states that Daigle also faces a period of supervised release as a result of his charge.
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