News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

THURSDAY - December 10, 2009

FORMER SCHOOL PRINCIPAL SENTENCED FOR FAILING TO

DISCLOSE INFORMATION ON SOCIAL SECURITY

INSURANCE BENEFITS CLAIM

NEW BERN - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court yesterday Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced DONALD R. PARKER, 58, of Sneads Ferry, North Carolina, to 12 months and 1 day in prison followed by three years supervised release. The Court also imposed restitution in the amount of $131,006.00.

A Federal Grand Jury returned a Superseding Criminal Indictment on February 10, 2009. On April 3, 2009, a federal jury convicted PARKER of failure to report an event affecting payments and false statements.

Evidence presented at trial showed that, on September 30, 2000, the car PARKER was driving was hit by a United States Marine Corps ambulance when the driver of the ambulance failed to stop at a red light. On October 21, 2002, PARKER filed an administrative tort claim against the Government seeking damages in the amount of $5,009,101.35. In December 2002, PARKER retired from the school system as a principal stating his inability to perform his duties based on his injuries.

On January 13, 2003, PARKER filed an application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI) benefits and was eventually granted the benefits based on information presented on his application. On December 14, 2004, PARKER filed a civil suit against the Government in federal court.

As preparation began for the civil case, it was noted that PARKER was receiving SSI based on his disability. It was also noted during document review that PARKER was actively working as the general contractor in the family business of Parker and Sons Construction Company (PSCC). In fact, gross revenue for PSCC increased substantially during the time PARKER alleged that he was not working. It was determined that PARKER failed to disclosure material information regarding his employment on his application for Social Security disability.

Mr. Holding noted that, “Social Security disability Insurance benefits are provided for those truly in need and unable to work. Hence, the defendant took advantage of this program for his own improper gain and the Court’s sentence addresses this.”

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Social Security Administration - Office of Inspector General. This case is being handled by the Office’s Economic Crimes Section, with Assistant United States Attorneys Felice McConnell Corpening and J. Gaston B. Williams assigned as prosecutors.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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