Truck driver busted when Social Security, DOT physical don't jibe

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A trucker who admitted to working while receiving Social Security benefits has been sentenced to serve prison time and pay restitution.
Risden Richardson of Roanoke, VA, was sentenced this past week in U.S. District Court in Virginia to serve 10 months behind bars. Richardson also was ordered to pay $123,202 in restitution to the Social Security Administration and $6,288 to the Department of Medical Assistance Services for “theft of government money.”

An investigation by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services OIG concluded that between 2002 and 2011, Richardson didn’t note a back condition on his medical condition report for his DOT-required fitness exams.

During that time frame, Richardson had reported to the Social Security Administration that he couldn’t work because he had a back disorder. Richardson received Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits that prohibited him from working more than 80 hours per month or making more than $1,000 in monthly income.

According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General, the back condition Richardson had received Social Security payments for would have made him ineligible for employment as a truck driver.

To hide his truck driving income, Richardson had payments made to his wife’s company, C&R Freightways. Richardson had accepted a plea deal from prosecutors before his sentencing.

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