U.S. Attorney: Appleton man sentenced to prison for defrauding social security

Gavel(Associated Press)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:38 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Federal court officials say an Appleton man will serve time in prison for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Fraud.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 63-year-old John Fischer will serve 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to the charge.

Officials say Fischer received more than $73,500 in federal and state SSI benefits from 2009 to 2017, and knowingly concealing multiple resources from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Court officials say Fishcer filed for SSI claiming he met all criteria, but he had bank and investment accounts, as well as vehicles, that put him above the $2,000 limit. He also had a Roth IRA worth more than $42,000, according to court documents. Officials say he secretly cashed out of the Roth IRA, which he hid from the SSA.

In addition, officials say Fischer also paid more than $48,000 for two SUVs without notifying the SSA he had the money or the vehicles, and concealed his accounts and vehicles under the guise of two different churches.

Fischer request probation, but a judge rejected the request. Fischer was also ordered to pay full restitution for the crime.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says it has started the process of seizing and auctioning two of Fischer’s vehicles, which they say include a 1957 Chevy Bel Air Fischer had hid from the SSA.

Court officials say SSI Fraud is a felony, and a person can be imprisoned for up to five years, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

SSI is a welfare program for the blind, disabled and for those who are older than 65 who have little to no income, as well as no more than $2,000 in resources. It is funded by general tax revenues. SSA pensions and SSDI are funded by payroll taxes.

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