Bend man sentenced in disability fraud


A Bend man convicted of defrauding the Social Security Administration by wrongfully collecting disability payments was sentenced Tuesday in a federal court in Portland.

The Oregonian reports that 55-year-old Richard Todd Rawlins began collecting disability checks after a 1998 plane crash left him with serious burns and disfigurement.

However, federal investigators determined Rawlins had been working in real estate, claiming a monthly income of more than $12,000 in home refinancing documents filed in 1998. Rawlins had also played golf, fished, hunted and taken a cross-country motorcycle trip, the paper reported, and had passed medical exams to renew his pilot’s license.

Social Security personnel began looking into Rawlins’ eligibility for disability payments in 2010.

Tuesday, Rawlins was sentenced to six months of home confinement and five years of probation, and ordered to serve 100 hours of community service. He must also repay the government $176,607 in wrongfully obtained benefits.