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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 19, 2021

Stand-up Comedian who Defrauded the Social Security Administration Receives Prison Sentence

“Bustin Dustin” Busted by Social Security Investigators for Failing to Report Income and an Improvement in His Physical Condition

A man who defrauded the Social Security Administration out of more than $105,000 over a five-year period was sentenced on April 16, 2021, to one year and one day in federal prison.

Dustin Francis Ruzicka, age 50, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after a November 10, 2020 guilty plea to Social Security disability insurance benefits fraud.

In a plea agreement, Ruzicka admitted that he knowingly failed to report his employment, his income, and improvement in function to the Social Security Administration between January 2011 and October 2016.  Information from sentencing and a plea agreement showed that Ruzicka began receiving Social Security disability benefits in 1992 for plantar fasciitis and adjustment disorder.  In 2004, Ruzicka started a stand-up comedy act, “Bustin Dustin,” and, in 2010, Ruzicka began working for Visalus, a dietary supplements company.  Agents with the Social Security Office of Inspector General investigated Ruzicka, including by observing one of his stand-up comedy shows.  During the performance, agents saw that Ruzicka was continuously on his feet and did not appear to be in any pain.  When the agents identified themselves and interviewed Ruzicka at his residence several months later, he walked with a noticeable limp.  On social media, Ruzicka posted about his earnings, his “entrepreneurship,” his “retirement,” and posed with his BMW.

Ruzicka was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Ruzicka was sentenced to twelve months and one day’s imprisonment.  He was ordered to make $105,676 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.  He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

Ruzicka was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kyndra Lundquist and investigated by Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 20-CR-94.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated April 20, 2021