News and Press Releases

46-Year-Old Claimed to be Disabled and Falsely Collected More than $125,000 for Care of Spouse

November 1, 2010

SCOTT CAMPBELL, 46, of Port Angeles, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 14 months in prison, four months of home confinement, and three years of supervised release, and $197,140 in restitution for Social Security fraud and theft of government funds. CAMPBELL engaged in an eight year scheme to illegally collect benefits designed to assist those who are legitimately disabled. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle told him he committed a “crime of dishonesty that involved a substantial amount of money.... (You) cheated the government and the taxpayers out of money that should go to people who truly qualify for disability benefits.”

According to records filed in the case, CAMPBELL applied for disability benefits in 2002, claiming he was disabled by a heart condition, depression, and diabetes. He was granted the benefits with the requirement that he notify Social Security if his status changed and he was able to work. CAMPBELL continued to operate a business at his residence, Campbell’s Custom Auto Repair. Further, CAMPBELL worked for a variety of other businesses. From 2005 to 2009, he worked as a shipper for “U-Ship, Inc.,” moving animals, equipment, and household items from one state to another. From 2008 through 2010, CAMPBELL worked at his wife’s party rental business, Just Jump. Over these eight years CAMPBELL fraudulently collected $67,350 from the Social Security Administration.

The fraud did not end with the Social Security disability claims. CAMPBELL engaged in a scheme to defraud the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services COPES program. The Community Options Program Entry System (COPES) program pays in home care givers for disabled people who need basic assistance with mobility, bed repositioning and taking medication.From 2003 to 2010, CAMPBELL and his wife claimed that she needed care givers for her disability. In fact, she was operating a business, and the care givers were relatives who were paid a small amount from each state check to falsely claim they were assisting in the home. The couple fraudulently collected $129,790. The total loss to both programs is $197,140.

Asking for a 25 month prison sentence, Special Assistant United States Attorney Johanna Vanderlee wrote to the court that CAMPBELL “committed DSHS fraud and deliberately embezzled SSA and DSHS moneys to which only truly disabled individuals are entitled. The type of fraudulent scheme CAMPBELL perpetrated weakens DSHS and SSA’s ability to provide for truly disabled people.”

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), the Washington State Patrol and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS).

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Johanna Vanderlee. Ms. Vanderlee is an attorney with the Social Security Administration who is specially designated to prosecute benefit fraud cases in federal court.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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