A Belleville, Illinois, man convicted of Theft from the Social Security Administration was sentenced in United States District Court in East St. Louis, Illinois, on August 30, 2013, to 18 months in federal prison, 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution to the Social Security Administration in the amount of $20,220.00, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Douglas Buckman, 39, pled guilty to the charges on May 13, 2013. During his plea, Buckman admitted that from January of 2009 through June of 2011, he continued to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits even though he knew he was not entitled to receive the benefits because he was in prison during the period for a state criminal conviction. Buckman admitted that during the time he was in state custody, the Social Security Administration paid out over $20,220.00 in SSI payments to him that were fraudulent.
"This case is yet another example of the wide spread fraud that plagues both state and federal programs that are in place to help the most vulnerable in our society. My office will continue to stand beside both federal and state law enforcement in doing all that is necessary to find and prosecute those who steal from and defraud these vital programs," said United States Attorney Wigginton.
The investigation was conducted by the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley R. Killian.