Tahlequah Man Sentenced To 18 Months, $266,000 Restitution For Concealment Of Material Fact
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that James Michael West, age 64, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, and 3 years supervised release for Concealment Of A Material Fact, in violation of Title 42, United States Code, Section 408(a)(4). The charge arose from an investigation by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General. West has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $266,982.00.
The Indictment alleged that from on or about July 14, 2005, and continuing through December 31, 2016, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma and elsewhere, defendant James Michael West, in a matter within the jurisdiction of Social Security Administration, having knowledge of the occurrence of an event affecting the right to receive or continue to receive Social Security Disability Income payments, concealed and failed to disclose such event with the intent to fraudulently secure payment when no payment was authorized. Specifically, defendant James Michael West intentionally concealed that James Michael West secured gainful employment in order to receive and continue to receive Disability Income payments made by the Social Security Administration to him. By such action, defendant James Michael West took approximately $266,982.00 in Social Security Disability Income payments to which he was not entitled.
“When someone unlawfully receives income from the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) it is a theft from all who are or will someday be lawfully entitled to receive income from the SSA. Investigations and prosecutions of those that fraudulently receive Social Security Income are vital to the continued stability of the entire program,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “I commend the SSA-OIG for its thorough, professional investigation and the members of this office who prosecuted and assisted with the prosecution of this case.”
The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Rob Wallace represented the United States. The defendant will report to the designated federal facility at which the non-paroleable sentence will be served.