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Portland man accused of long-running disability fraud scheme

Many federal crimes are investigated by federal agents each year across the country, including in Oregon. Not all investigations undercover crimes that are worth prosecuting in federal court. When charges are pressed against suspects, it is with the intention of both punishing the offender and setting an example that discourages other potential criminals.

Recently, a 49-year-old Portland man was arrested on charges of fraud, including wire fraud, for operating a disability fraud scheme for more than nine years. According to federal authorities, the suspect collected disability benefits electronically when benefits were transferred into various bank accounts he had opened. The suspect allegedly used his scheme to collect disability benefits for his sister who was living outside the country.

In 2009, the suspect was arrested after a four year investigation that started when he allegedly attempted to collect assistance from the Department of Homeland Security for home care services to the suspect's mother. Authorities determined the suspect's mother was living in Lebanon. Various state and federal agencies ultimately became involved in the investigation.

The suspect was ordered to pay $221,000 in restitution for defrauding the government. His parents were also indicted on similar charges, but they fled the country already. Authorities were suspicious because the unemployed man drove an expensive car and wore a lot of expensive jewelry.

The suspect in this case faces extremely serious charges that could send him to prison for several years. Convictions in federal fraud cases bring mandatory sentences that give judges little or no leeway at sentencing.

To aggressively defend himself, the suspect should contact a knowledgeable legal professional who understands the intricacies of the case and how prosecutors are likely to pursue their charges. Together, the suspect and his attorney can establish a strong criminal defense that can withstand the prosecutor's offense.

Source: The Washington Free Beacon, "Unemployed man who 'wore lots of jewelry' busted for disability fraud," Elizabeth Harrington, March 28, 2014

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