Jun 1, 201201:35 PMDaily Biz Briefs
Family members sentenced to prison for disability fraud
Three members of one family were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to prison time for a scheme to defraud the Social Security Administration and the State Department of Social and Health Services of more than $300,000, according to U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
Johnny George was sentenced to 27 months in prison. His wife, Linda George was sentenced to 37 months in prison and their daughter, Christina George was sentenced to six months of electronic home confinement.
The couple’s son, Paul George, will be sentenced June 29.
The 30-year fraud involved the couple and their children pretending that various family members were developmentally disabled and needed constant care. Not only did the parents apply for benefits, they had their children apply for benefits as either disabled or as caregivers. The children continued the fraud once they became adults.
U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik ordered the couple to pay $338,128 in restitution.
The George family fraud continued over a 31-year period, netting the defendants more than $338,000. Johnny George fraudulently obtained a second Social Security number and, using this second identity, applied for disability in 1979. Paul George applied for disability in 1983. Both men claimed to be developmentally disabled and unable to work.
Johnny George claimed to be unable to feed himself, read, write or work. At the same time he claimed to be disabled, however, Johnny George owned and operated a used car lot. George and his son used alternate identities to live non-disabled lives at the same time they were collecting benefits.
Linda George made numerous false statements to Social Security and to evaluators, and obtained numerous false identity documents. She received and cashed more than 650 monthly benefit checks for her husband and son.
Christina George also used false identities to illegally collect benefits from state and federal programs. In the Cookie Miller fake persona, she applied to be the representative payee of a person, L.M., who falsely claimed to be disabled. She was paid nearly $24,000 in benefits she did not deserve.
Christina George also claimed to be a caregiver for S.G., a person who also was falsely claiming to be disabled. Christina George claimed to be the in-home caregiver for S.G. who resided in Kent, even though Christina George resided in Vancouver, 150 miles to the south.
From February 2010, to June 2011, DSHS fraudulently paid Christina George more than $19,000. She was ordered to pay $42,275 in restitution.