A man who claimed he was blind in order to fraudulently collect $175,000 in disability checks was caught after he was seen driving a speed boat and a snowmobile – and even drove a car to collect the payments.
Lawrence Popp, 58, from Greendale, Wisconsin, was sentenced to a year in federal prison on Tuesday for collecting the Social Security benefits and lying on his taxes.
The successful businessman claimed in interviews at the disability office that he couldn’t work, drive or read without help.
Yet videos recorded by agents working for the Social Security Administration and the IRS show him driving to the office, parking a block away and walking inside, before returning and driving off again.
Other footage reveals him driving a boat while a water skiier follows behind, the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported.
Popp was declared legally blind in 2004 following an illness, and he started receiving benefits. But alongside the payments, he continued to work at his kitchen equipment business.
Popp fraudulently collected $175,000 in disability payment and $115,000 in Medicare benefits between 2004 and 2009. He also evaded taxes totaling about $178,000, authorities said.