A Perham man who cheated Social Security out of over $24,000 will now have to give that money back in the form of deductions from his Social Security benefits.
Wayne Allen Larson, 64, was convicted Monday in Otter Tail County court for felony theft. He must spend 30 days in jail or on electric monitoring, and he was placed on supervised probation for 10 years and fined $500.
However, the biggest penalty is a $200 per month deduction from his Social Security benefits from now until he pays off the remaining $19,952.60 he owes. At that rate, he will receive a benefit reduction for the next eight years and four months.
Larson began receiving Social Security disability benefits in October of 1995, court records state. As late as March 27, 2009, he reported to Social Security that he was not working. However, the Social Security Administration learned that Larson had been working as an independent contractor doing construction for Perham-based New Life Farms from August 2005 to August 2008.
New Life Farms did not know that Larson had disability benefits, and at least one person affiliated with the business said Larson never showed any sign or indication that he was disabled. During the time when Larson worked at New Life Farms, he received $24,285.60 in Social Security benefits.