Fisherman pleaded guilty to social security fraud receiving over $157,000 in SSDI benefits

United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Daniel Fitzsimmons, 54, of Whiting, Maine, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to social security fraud. According to court records, the defendant began receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) payments in 2002. SSDI benefits are paid by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) to people with disabilities. From 2002 to 2013, the defendant and his dependents received over $157,000 in SSDI benefits.  In order to obtain those benefits, the defendant was required to certify that he could no longer perform “substantial gainful work.”  In numerous forms submitted to the SSA and at an in-person SSA interview, the defendant reported little work activity and very low annual earnings between 2002 and 2013.  An investigation revealed that, contrary to his statements, the defendant was actively and consistently engaged in commercial fishing over that period. The defendant faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. The case was investigated by SSA’s Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Coast Guard. Link 17:08