News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Defendant Claimed Deceased Mother as a Dependant to Boost Disability Payments

May 26, 2011

SIMON YANG, 71, of Kent, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to one year of probation, a $2,000 fine and 100 hours of community service for False Statements Regarding Federal Worker’s Compensation Benefits. YANG is a former employee of the U.S. Corps of Engineers. YANG retired in 2003, after applying for disability benefits in 2002. YANG was granted disability status in 2006, and filled out multiple forms in 2007, claiming to be the sole support for his elderly mother. This claim increased his disability benefits from 66 percent of his prior salary to 75 percent of his previous salary. YANG’s claim to be the sole support of his mother were false. She had passed away in 2005 in Randwick, New South Wales, Australia. In all YANG unlawfully obtained an additional $47,803 in benefits. He has since paid that amount back to the government.

When confronted about his fraud in 2010, YANG first tried to claim that his mother was alive, but away from the home visiting friends on Whidbey Island. When agents told him they were aware his mother was deceased, YANG told them to “Prove it.” YANG pleaded guilty in February 2011.

At sentencing today U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly noted that because YANG was convicted of fraud against the disability system, he would lose all future disability payments, even for legitimate claims.

YANG told Judge Zilly he was deeply remorseful. “I knew it was wrong,” he said. “It was a very self-destructive act.”

The case was investigated by Army Criminal Investigations Division and the Federal Employee’s Compensation Act (FECA) Fraud Investigation Unit. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence Lincoln.


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