Man Pleads Guilty To Social Security Fraud And Tax Evasion
An Oak Bluffs man entered a guilty plea over charges that he falsified his tax return and stole $160,025 in Social Security benefits.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says that 63-year-old Vernon Harris pleaded guilty to theft of public money and tax evasion after being charged in November.
Harris applied for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in 2002 and stated in his application that he stopped working in 2001 due to his disabilities.
However, the U.S. Attorney's Office says that at the time he was actually running a trucking brokerage firm out of his home called SilkRoad Logistics.
Harris wrote himself checks from his business totaling up to $70,000 in some years which contradicted a letter he sent to the Social Security Administration claiming that "“my wife is and has been the sole income earner in our household since my disability in 2001.”
The company was being run by Harris until 2015 during which time he continued to collect social security benefits.
He also falsified information pertaining to the company on his 2010 federal income tax return.
A sentencing hearing for Harris is scheduled for March 10, 2016.