Federal grand jury indicts Shreveport doctor for stealing disability benefits
SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney David C. Joseph announced today that a federal grand jury indicted a Shreveport surgeon for stealing disability benefits.
John T. Owings, 58, of Shreveport, was charged with one count of theft of government property and one count of concealing that he was ineligible for Social Security benefits. According to the indictment, Owings applied for Social Security disability benefits in March of 2007. After being awarded the benefits, he was required to report if he began working again. He began working in 2012 as a surgeon for the University of California-Davis where was paid $22,000 a month. He was hired in 2013 as the chief of trauma and the medical director of University Health System in Shreveport where he is being paid $41,400 a month. Based on his employment, Owings was ineligible to receive disability benefits. However, he concealed the employment changes from the Social Security Administration, and as a result, he received more than $200,000 in government money that he was not entitled to.
Owings faces up to 10 years in prison for the theft count and five years in prison for the concealing event count. He also faces up to five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each count.
The Social Security Administration investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth D. Reeg is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.