A panhandler faked a stutter and acted as if he had trouble understanding things so he could qualify for federal disability benefits, according to a court document.
Gary Hank Thompson, 33, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to defrauding the Social Security Administration, according to the office of U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr. in Louisville.
Thompson is from Cave City in Barren County.
He admitted that between August 2009 and April 2013, he lied to get disability benefits.
In evaluation interviews with Social Security employees, Thompson “falsely represented his mental condition by slowing his speech and stuttering, and generally saying and doing things to make it seem that he had issues with comprehension, when he did not,” according to his plea agreement.
Thompson also failed to disclose that he made as much as $40 a day panhandling, which would have affected his eligibility, the plea document said.
Thompson received $24,884 in disability payments he didn’t deserve, and he received $81,831.27 in Medicaid benefits, according to the court document.
Prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence of two years and three months when Thompson is sentenced in June, plus restitution totaling more than $106,000, according to a news release.