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Florida Man Sentenced to Prison for Supplemental Security Income Fraud

December 11, 2015

Office Affiliation: The Office of Investigations

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of North Florida:

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Lynwood Williams, 53, of Greenhead, Florida, was sentenced yesterday in United States District Court to six months in prison for theft of $63,284 in government funds.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

In October 2006, Williams applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, falsely claiming that he suffered from an organic brain disorder.  During interviews with Social Security Administration (SSA) officials, Williams pretended to be mentally disabled, deliberately stuttering and acting as though he had great difficulty forming words.  In one interview, Williams was accompanied by a person who, at Williams’ direction, falsely claimed to be Williams’ cousin.  His “cousin” falsely claimed that Williams was unable to work due to his mental and speech limitations.  In a separate interview, one of Williams’ friends, who was designated as Williams’ representative payee, falsely told SSA officials that Williams was so severely handicapped that he could not take care of his daily needs and had to be supervised like a child.

In 2014, the SSA discovered YouTube videos in which Williams was performing comedy routines that clearly showed Williams did not suffer from a mental or speech impairment.  Postings on Facebook indicated that Williams did lawn work, pressure washing, and painting, when he was not working as a comedian.

Williams pled guilty on September 1, 2015.  As part of his sentence, he was ordered to pay $56,287 in restitution to the SSA, and $6,997 in restitution to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Harwin

PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – Lynwood Williams, 53, of Greenhead, Florida, was sentenced yesterday in United States District Court to six months in prison for theft of $63,284 in government funds.  The sentence was announced by Christopher P. Canova, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

In October 2006, Williams applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, falsely claiming that he suffered from an organic brain disorder.  During interviews with Social Security Administration (SSA) officials, Williams pretended to be mentally disabled, deliberately stuttering and acting as though he had great difficulty forming words.  In one interview, Williams was accompanied by a person who, at Williams’ direction, falsely claimed to be Williams’ cousin.  His “cousin” falsely claimed that Williams was unable to work due to his mental and speech limitations.  In a separate interview, one of Williams’ friends, who was designated as Williams’ representative payee, falsely told SSA officials that Williams was so severely handicapped that he could not take care of his daily needs and had to be supervised like a child.

In 2014, the SSA discovered YouTube videos in which Williams was performing comedy routines that clearly showed Williams did not suffer from a mental or speech impairment.  Postings on Facebook indicated that Williams did lawn work, pressure washing, and painting, when he was not working as a comedian.

Williams pled guilty on September 1, 2015.  As part of his sentence, he was ordered to pay $56,287 in restitution to the SSA, and $6,997 in restitution to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Harwin

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