Las Vegas Man Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Stealing over $500,000 in Social Security Disability Benefits
Las Vegas, Nev. – A Las Vegas man was sentenced today to two years in federal prison and three years of supervised release for stealing $525,326 in disability benefits from the Social Security Administration, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Nelson Vazquez, 58, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks. Vazquez pleaded guilty in October 2011 to one count of theft of government funds.
According to the guilty plea agreement, between 1976 and May 2000, Vazquez received Social Security disability benefits. In May 2000, the Social Security Administration terminated Vazquez' benefits because Vazquez was able to work and had worked. The Social Security Administration reinstated Vazquez' disability benefits in December 2003, but then determined that Vazquez was operating Vazquez & Associates, an accounting firm in Las Vegas, while at the same time receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration calculated that between February 6, 2003, and September 2010, Vazquez unlawfully received $525,326 in disability benefits to which he was not entitled.
Judge Hicks also ordered that Vazquez pay restitution to the Social Security Administration. Vazquez was permitted to self-report to federal prison by March 12, 2012.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger Yang.