A jury indicted a Turlock, California man on federal charges of defrauding the government. James Alva Kirkpatrick, 59 faces charges of theft of more than $174,000 in disability funds.
According to the complaint, Kirkpatrick had a back injury in 1992. He applied and started receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Under SSDI regulations, Kirkpatrick was required to report any changes to employment or employment status, as earnings affect disability payments and the amount a disabled individual can receive.
Kirkpatrick started working in 2000, approximately 40 hours per week for North Valley Appraisal, which is full-time employment. The defendant and his wife own North Valley Appraisal. The complaint alleges that the defendant never reported his employment or return to full-time employment. He continued to receive disability benefits through SSDI, based on false representations that he was unable to work due to his disability.
Kirkpatrick faces charges of deceiving the government out of $174,000 in unjust disability benefit funds. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.