Indiana Man Charged with Committing Social Security Fraud

Wednesday, November 9, 2011
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Federal prosecutors have charged a Patriot man with fraud after they say he unlawfully received more than $50,000 in Social Security benefits.

Prosecutors filed the charges against Willard Napier, 65, after an investigation by the Social Security Administration.

The information alleges that between 2006 and 2011, Napier received $52,717.60 in disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. It also alleges that over this five-year period, Napier did not disclose that he was working as a commercial fisherman on the Ohio River, fraudulently securing those payments from the federal government.

"It's the type of fraud that if you let it go unchecked, it starts to add up," said Joe Hogsett, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.

Hogsett noted that this latest indictment is part of a ongoing effort to combat fraud and waste of Hoosier taxpayer resources. Recently released statistics from the Department of Justice show over the last fiscal year, the U.S. Attorney's Office collected civil and criminal fines in excess of $9.5 million, as well as more than $6.6 million in asset forfeitures.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas E. Surmacz, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Napier faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An initial hearing will be scheduled before a U.S. Magistrate Judge.