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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Naylor, Missouri Man Sentenced on Social Security Fraud Charges

Cape Girardeau, MO – RODGER SERATT, Naylor, Missouri, was sentenced to 41 months in prison on charges of falsifying documents to receive Social Security benefits, and a separate charge of tampering with a witness during the investigation.  He appeared before United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Seratt pled guilty in July to three felony counts of making false statements, and two felony counts of theft of government funds.  The conduct underlying the charges occurred between October 15, 2009, and May 16, 2015, when, in an effort to prove his eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits, Seratt began making false statements to the Social Security Administration that he was dependent upon the financial resources of others and his physical disabilities prevented him from being employed.  As the federal disability program provides a minimum level of income for aged, blind or disabled individuals, Seratt’s statements were material to the agency’s decision to grant his application for benefits.

However, during the time period Seratt made the false statements and fraudulently received federal disability benefits, he operated numerous businesses and owned rental property, his residence, an airplane and other property.  When the State of Missouri outlawed the manufacture and distribution of synthetic drugs, Seratt conducted newspaper and television interviews with local media outlets, as well as a newspaper in Minneapolis, Minnesota, claiming that representatives with the State of Missouri and Stoddard County were causing him to lose $30,000 to $40,000 a month in income from the manufacture and distribution of synthetic drugs such as K2 and Spice.  Between October 15, 2009, and March 31, 2013, Seratt fraudulently obtained more than $24,000 in federal government disability benefits as a result of his false statements to the Social Security Administration.

He also pled guilty to charges of tampering with a witness in a related case in which, on April 10, 2015, Seratt caused an employee of his business enterprise to withhold documents requested by a federal grand jury investigating additional false statements to the government agency.

This case was investigated by the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General.  Assistant United States Attorney Tracy Berry handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated October 28, 2015