New York Man Admits Almost 13 Years of Social Security Disability Fraud

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A 60-year-old Fort Wadsworth man could spend up to five years behind bars after admitting to Social Security fraud.

Carl Bravata Sr. obtained Social Security Administration disability benefits while working full-time between March 1998 and January 2011, court papers said. Those documents didn't say where Bravata worked.

Prosecutors charged that he illegally used someone else's Social Security number to obtain benefits to which he wasn't entitled.

Bravata was initially accused of Social Security fraud, aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.

He pleaded guilty Friday in Brooklyn federal court to one count of Social Security fraud, court documents show.

His lawyer, Joseph Sorrentino, said Bravata was severely injured while working for the city Sanitation Department and "legitimately" obtained Social Security disability benefits.

However, there came a time when his daughter and her two children moved in with him. To help support them, Bravata got a job in private industry while also collecting disability benefits.

His new job made him ineligible to receive those benefits, said the lawyer.

"This was not like many of these cases where he ripped off the system by faking an injury," said Sorrentino. "The problem came when he continued to work" while receiving disability benefits.

"Had he never went back to work he would have been legitimate," the lawyer said.

Bravata potentially faces up to five years in prison when sentenced on Feb. 11, said a spokesman for Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.