Elkridge Motorcycle Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Lying to Conceal His Fraudulent Receipt of over $100,000 in Disability Benefits

April  8, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - William Millett, age 66, of Elkridge, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to lying about his self-employment during 16 years in which he fraudulently received social security disability benefits, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to the plea agreement, Millett began receiving social security disability benefits in 1988 based upon his claim that he was unable to work due to disability resulting from a motorcycle accident.

Millett and his wife opened a business in 1991 called “Speed’s Cycle,” located in Elkridge, which sold motorcycle-related merchandise. In 2002, Speed’s Cycle became an authorized dealer of motorcycles and opened a larger location in Elkridge in 2003.

In 2005, the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration (SSA) received information that the defendant was self-employed as the business owner of Speed’s Cycle and that his business earnings were being paid to his wife to conceal his work from the SSA. SSA interviewed Millett in 2006. During the interview, Millett repeatedly denied working since 1987, and signed a form making the same statement. During a 2007 interview, however, he admitted that from 1991 to 2003, he worked a portion of 23 hours per week at the store, and that since May 2003, he worked 30 hours per week, opening the store, meeting daily with employees, inspecting vehicles, speaking with customers and making all hiring and firing decisions, among other tasks.

SSA stopped paying disability benefits to Millett in September 2007. Millett fraudulently received a total of $103, 918 in disability benefits.

Millett faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for June 23, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. As part of his plea agreement, Millett has agreed to pay restitution of $103,918.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General for its investigative work and commended Assistant United States Attorney Cheryl L. Crumpton, who is prosecuting the case.



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