Lewis County Couple Plead Guilty to Social Security Fraud Charges
St. Louis, MO – Michael Allen Clow, Maywood, MO, pled guilty to multiple charges involving his concealment of his employment while collecting disability payments. From 2001 through 2012, Clow received approximately $273,634 in Social Security Administration (SSA) disability insurance benefits as a result of this illegal scheme.
According to court documents, in 1999, Michael Allen Clow submitted an application for disability insurance benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA) stating that he was unable to work due to chronic low back pain. In his application he agreed to notify the SSA if his medical condition improved so that he could work or if he went to work as an employee or a self-employed person. He began receiving benefits that year. During 2001 Clow began working with his father building homes. In 2002, he and his wife, Laura Clow, went into business together and started a construction business called C & M Construction. From 2002 to 2012 Clow worked for C & M Construction providing manual labor. During this time he filed reports to SSA claiming he was still unable to work.
While Michael Clow received payments from SSA, his wife, Laura Clow, assisted in the fraud by placing the business in her name, and falsely claimed that he was disabled and unable to bend over, do house and yard work and general daily activities.
Michael Clow pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government property, one count of concealment and two counts of making false statements to the Social Security Administration. He appeared before United States District Judge Catherine D. Perry. Sentencing has been set for December 9, 2016.
Laura Clow pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit theft of government property before United States Magistrate Judge John Bodenhausen. Her sentencing has also been set for December 9th.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or fines up to $100,000. Each of the other charges carries a maximum of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Franks is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.