OWNER OF TRUCKING COMPANY INDICTED FOR NEARLY $200,000 SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD SCHEME
March 31, 2011
ATLANTA, GA - DARRYL THOMAS HARRINGTON, 45, of Winston, Georgia, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud and making false statements to a federal agency. HARRINGTON was arrested today and made an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge Linda Walker who ordered that HARRINGTON be detained.
United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “With so many people in our community relying on Social Security benefits to live, and others waiting in line to rightfully get their disability benefits, we simply cannot afford cheaters. This defendant allegedly engaged in a pattern of concealment and deception that cost taxpayers and the Social Security system nearly $200,000.”
Special Agent in Charge Guy P. Fallen, Office of the Inspector General, Social Security Administration said, “Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits are a lifeline for many Americans who are unable to work due to a temporary, or permanent disability. Our office is gratified by the U.S. Attorney's shared commitment to preserving Social Security funds for deserving beneficiaries. We have no higher priority than ensuring that those who obtain benefits fraudulently are swiftly detected and prosecuted. Social Security fraud affects all Americans and today's arrest is testament to our serious commitment to pursuing those who victimize Social Security Programs.”
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: HARRINGTON worked as owner/operator of “Bridgeway Direct, LLC,” a trucking company, while receiving Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits from 2002 to 2009. The Social Security Administration (SSA) received information that HARRINGTON was working as a truck driver while receiving disability benefits and initiated an investigation. In response to an SSA inquiry, HARRINGTON informed the SSA that he was not working and denied any knowledge of the trucking company Bridgeway Direct, LLC.
The indictment alleges that HARRINGTON completed several credit applications during the fraud period indicating he was employed as a truck driver. HARRINGTON also represented on credit applications that he was the manager, president, owner, or CEO of Bridgeway Direct, LLC. The SSA investigation further revealed that defendant HARRINGTON entered into contractual agreements with several companies acting as manager, president, owner, or CEO of Bridgeway Direct, LLC.
Military records obtained during the investigation also revealed HARRINGTON enlisted in the U.S. Army National Guard on August 23, 2005, a compensated job, during which time he had continued to claim to SSA that he was disabled. Records from the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, filed October 29, 2005, indicated HARRINGTON reported on bankruptcy documents income from employment in the amount of $31,824 in 2003; $28,575 in 2004; and $25,416 in 2005. However, he never reported this income to the SSA as required and continued to receive disability benefits. Due to HARRINGTON’S work concealment and false statements, the United States Department of the Treasury, at the direction of the SSA, issued $199,280.10 in disability payments to HARRINGTON and his dependent beneficiaries when no benefits payments were truly due.
The indictment charges one count of wire fraud and two counts of making false statements to a federal agency. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, and the false statement charges carry a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove a defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by Special Agents from the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Loranzo M. Fleming is prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact Sally Q. Yates, United States Attorney, or Charysse L. Alexander, Executive Assistant United States Attorney, through Patrick Crosby, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney's Office, at (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the HomePage for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia is www.justice.gov/usao/gan.