Hermantown man pleads guilty to stealing Federal Government Funds

By KBJR News 1

Hermantown man pleads guilty to stealing Federal Government Funds

August 22, 2012 Updated Aug 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM CDT

Minneapolis, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- A 51 year old Hermantown man pleaded guilty to stealing more than $144,000 in Social Security disability benefits in federal court on Tuesday.

James William Smith was indicted on April 16, 2012 before he pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government funds in connection to the crime.

Smith admitted that on March 16, 2006, he claimed he suffered from memory loss, making it impossible to work and applied for Social Security benefits.

Smith also admitted that during a medical evaluation, he falsely said his medical condition alters his speech, writing, and appearance.

The plea agreement states that based on the evaluation, Smith received diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's disease and began receiving disability payments from the Social Security Administration.

For the crime, Smith faces a potential max penalty of ten years in federal prison.

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