Fishing guide sentenced to year in prison for fraudulent disability claim

first_imgA Southwest Washington fishing guide was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to a year in prison for a fraudulent disability claim that spanned eight years.Billy Jim Swann, 53, was convicted in March, following a three-day trial, of perjury, wire fraud and Social Security fraud for trying to obtain disability benefits to which he wasn’t entitled.U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan described Swann’s actions as a “nefarious scheme” to “lie to get money from the federal government,” according to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice.Court records and trial testimony show that Swann applied for Social Security disability benefits in 2006, claiming he had been unable to work since 2003. When his claim was denied, he appealed and swore before an administrative law judge that his only work activity was as a volunteer for a few weeks in the summer at an Alaska fishing camp. His claim was again denied, so he appealed in U.S. District Court, making false disability claims, the press release states.Swann reportedly claimed that his disability interfered with his ability to walk, climb stairs and use his hands, and that he required a cane to get around. He also claimed he suffered cognitive problems that limited his ability to carry on a conversation, according to the press release.last_img

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