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Man from Scott facing 5-year prison term over benefits fraud

Not all criminal offenses in Louisiana are created equal. While a violent crime such as assault is committed, the actual criminal act is often brief, lasting a matter of seconds. Other crimes, however, can take years to develop -- such as fraud.

A man from Scott, Louisiana, is facing time in federal prison as a result of his conviction for cheating the government by receiving Social Security disability benefits to which he wasn't entitled. The man, who pleaded guilty, began the deception more than 15 years ago when he began working at a restaurant even though he told the government he was too injured to work.

Prosecutors say the man initially applied for disability benefits sometime in the 1990s due to a slip-and-fall injury. It wasn't made clear if that initial filing was due to a legitimate injury; however, the man began his job working at the restaurant in 1998. He received the benefits while he was employed.

Over time, the man collected nearly $200,000 in benefits, during which time he was earning about $12,000 annually at his restaurant job. The result of this deception, to which the man pleaded guilty, is the threat of a five-year federal prison sentence and fines of $250,000 -- even more than the amount he received in benefits.

People facing serious charges, particularly in federal court, ought to make sure that they have solid legal representation. Even if they choose to plead guilty, as happened in this case, having an experienced attorney standing beside you can ease the process somewhat.

Source: The Advocate, "Scott man pleads guilty to lying to receive disability benefits," Jan. 23, 2014

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Meet Attorney Guillory

Attorney Joshua S. Guillory was born in Alexandria, Louisiana. Upon graduating high school from Alexandria Senior High, he enrolled in classes at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree. Josh was a member of Mu Kappa Tau, a national honor society for marketing majors, while attending... Read More

Joshua S. Guillory

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