NEWARK, N.J. – A Hunterdon County, N.J., man who previously owned his own private detective firm was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with conspiring to commit Social Security disability fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
David M. Disney, 45, of Alexandria Township and Saddle River, N.J, and formerly of DM Disney & Associates, is charged in a three-count Indictment with conspiring with a former girlfriend to fraudulently obtain $144,000 in disability insurance benefits from the Social Security Administration between 2003 and 2008. Disney appeared in Newark federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz and U.S. District Court Judge Faith S. Hochberg for his initial appearance and arraignment.
According to the Indictment, unsealed today:
As a result of a head injury he suffered in January 2003, Disney applied for disability insurance payments in the fall of 2003, claiming an inability to work, take care of himself or his finances, or even concentrate for more than five minutes. Based on that application, Disney and his two dependent children were deemed eligible for monthly disability benefit payments to replace his lost income. By signing the application, Disney agreed to notify the Social Security Administration if there was any improvement in his medical condition or if he regained the ability to work and earn income. A former girlfriend of Disney’s, who worked for his private detective firm, also signed forms attesting to his inability to work or earn any income.
However, during the time that Disney was receiving disability benefits, he continued to perform surveillance for clients of DM Disney & Associates, to testify before the New York State Workers' Compensation Board on behalf of clients, and even applied to renew his New Jersey Private Detective License and purchase a handgun. Between 2003 and 2008, Disney collected more than $144,000 in monthly disability payments to which he was not entitled by continuing to make false statements to the Social Security Administration and underreporting the income that he was earning.
Disney is charged in Count One of the Indictment with Conspiracy, in Count Two with Social Security Disability Fraud and in Count Three with Theft of Government Property. Counts One and Two are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. On Count Three, Disney faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the Social Security Administration - Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Edward J. Ryan of the New York Field Division, with the investigation leading to the Indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Danielle Alfonzo Walsman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.