From the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri:
St. Louis, MO – Everett James, 60 of St. Louis, Missouri, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the Social Security Administration and theft of government funds. James appeared this morning in before Richard Webber and sentencing is set for September 18, 2018.
According to court documents, James applied for Social Security Administration disability benefits January 2014 claiming that his medical condition rendered him unable to work as a corrections officer. However, he failed to report that he was working as a private security guard at the time of his application. After being approved for benefits, James worked as a private security guard and as a part-time police officer.
The Social Security Administration learned that while James received the federal disability benefits, he was employed in various capacities that included serving as: Kinloch, Missouri Police Captain; Wellston, Missouri Police Sergeant; a private security guard; and, a Hillsdale, Missouri patrol officer. When the City of Hillsdale hired James in March 2017, he informed his employer that the amount of hours he could work and his hourly wage needed to be adjusted to preserve his receipt of federal disability benefits. He turned down the city’s offer of a higher salary and more hours to offset the loss of benefits, but volunteered to work without a salary if he was needed. As a result, the Hillsdale Police Department paid James less per hour than officers who performed similar duties.
Had the Social Security Administration been aware of James’ ability to work, it would not have approved him to receive disability benefits. His concealment of his abilities caused the federal government to pay him more than $68,000.00 in disability benefits to which he was ineligible.
“This office will prosecute individuals who violate federal law regardless of their position,” said United States Attorney Jeff Jensen.
Making a false statement carries a penalty of not more than five years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000 or both and theft of government funds carries a penalty of not more than 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $25,000 or both.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Berry is handling the case for the government.