Disability claims have increased 20% since Obama took office.
A former U.S. Postal Service employee in Anchorage was arraigned Friday on charges he accepted at least $334,000 in disability and worker’s comp payments while he spent his summers fishing.
The U.S. attorney’s office says in a Friday release that 56-year-old Amacio Zamora Agcaoili Jr. was indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 counts, including theft of government funds.
They claim every summer between 2009 and 2013, he went dipnetting and fishing on multiple occasions despite being on disability.
Agcaoili faces 18 counts, including charges of wire, Social Security and Federal Employees Compensation Act fraud, as well as theft of government funds.
If found guilty, he could face up to 20 years in jail.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne Lamoreaux, the prosecutor in the case, says the case stems from a lower back injury Agcaoili began receiving Social Security and worker’s comp payments for in November 2001.
The charges say that between about Feb. 12, 2009 and continuing ‘until the present,’ Agcaoili bilked the government out of at least $334,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne Lamoreaux, the prosecutor in the case, says the case stems from a lower back injury Agcaoili began receiving Social Security and worker’s comp payments for in November 2001
Agcaoili allegedly did additional jobs, including preparing income tax returns and immigration forms, but lied on federal forms and said he hadn’t had other work in order to still qualify for payments.
He allegedly received money from two federal benefits programs — the Department of Labor Office of Workers’ Compensation program and the Social Security Administration Disability Insurance Benefits program.
He received the payments ‘by engaging in a scheme to defraud the federal government about the nature and extent of his injury and about the other work he was performing and income he was receiving,’.
At a doctor’s appointment in July 2009, the defendant described the pain from his lower back as ‘unbearable and constant,’ ranging from eight to 10 on a pain scale, according to the indictment.
His suffering was exacerbated by a list of physical activities: sitting, standing, walking and changing weather conditions, he allegedly said. He also reportedly used a cane to walk.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Yvonne Lamoureux also claims Agcaoli lied about not working when he was paid for preparing tax returns and immigration paperwork.
Authorities also claim he failed to tell the Social Security Administration about his worker’s comp payments, to which he wasn’t entitled.