Three Former Employees of Anheuser-Busch In-Bev Plead Guilty to Fraud Charges
St. Louis, MO – Former employees of Anheuser-Busch In Bev, James Williams, 68, of St. Louis County; Gary Belcher, 64, of St. Louis County; and, Gregory Vieth, 63, of Columbia, IL; pleaded guilty to conspiring with a licensed Missouri chiropractor to fraudulently obtain disability insurance payments from the Social Security Administration and Prudential Insurance Companies of America. Each appeared this morning in front of United States District Judge Ronnie L. White who accepted the guilty pleas and set sentencing for March 5, 2020.
According to court documents, the chiropractor and the defendants exaggerated the defendants’ medical conditions and ability to care for themselves in order to qualify for the disability benefits. The chiropractor also required defendants to undergo excessive medical treatments and diagnostic evaluations beyond what was medically necessary to pad their medical records. Beginning as early as 2011, the defendants sought the chiropractor’s assistance because it permitted them to fraudulently obtain Social Security disability insurance benefit payments; a long-term disability insurance payment of $100,000.00 from Prudential Insurance Companies; and short-term disability benefits through other private insurance companies. In exchange, defendants paid the chiropractor as much as $3,000.00 for each of the types of disability payments they were seeking, among other forms of compensation to the chiropractor
As a result of the false and fraudulent statements to the Social Security Administration and Prudential by the chiropractor, James Williams, Gary Belcher and Gregory Vieth each received in excess of $150,000.00 from the Social Security Administration and Prudential.
Conspiracy to defraud carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment for each count and a fine of $250,000 or both. Restitution to the victims is also mandatory.
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Tracy Berry and Dorothy McMurtry are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Because the Social Security Administration provides benefits through the Disability Insurance Benefit Program to more than 8.4 million individuals a year at a monthly rate of more than $10.4 million, the Social Security Administration accepts reports of those suspected of committing fraud against the program through the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Inspector General Hotline at: 1-800-269-0271 or https://oig.ssa.gov/report/.