Virginia Man Sentenced to 10 Months in Prison for Fraudulently Collecting Disability Benefits

Monday, July 30, 2012
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 A long-distance truck driver was sentenced to 10 months in prison Tuesday for collecting disability benefits while continuing to work.

Risden Richardson, 55, of Roanoke collected nearly $130,000 in undeserved Social Security benefits.

While claiming that his hours behind the wheel were limited by back pain, Richardson failed to report more than $1.3 million he made driving a truck between 2002 and 2010, according to evidence presented earlier in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.

Anyone earning more than $1,000 a month or working more than 80 hours a month is ineligible for Social Security.

Richardson, who was allowed to report to prison later, was also ordered to make restitution of $129,490.

Judge Steven Agee, a judge for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals who was designated to hear the case, said his reasons for a prison sentence included the need to deter others and the amount of money involved.

"There's just no way you can look at $130,000 and call it pocket change," Agee said.