Kent couple admits faking mental handicap for benefits

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 14 at 7:01 PM

SEATTLE -- He got hundreds of thousands of dollars in disability benefits. She got a hundred thousand more as his caretaker.

Friday, a husband and wife team from Kent pleaded guilty to ripping off the U.S. Social Security System.

Federal prosecutors said Ronnie George, 50, and his wife Nancy Stone hatched the scheme in 1990. Friday, George admitted he faked that he had a mental disability and was unable to work.

Video of an interview with a state counselor showed George struggling to answer basic questions. His wife sat alongside him. She claimed he was unable to care for him and received cash benefits for providing care.

But undercover Social Security agents captured the real Ronnie George on a separate video. They posed as buyers as a smooth-talking George tried to sell them a car.

The videos were introduced in court to show the judge that George isn’t handicapped at all.

Several other George family members are accused of running similar schemes. The United States Attorney’s Office in Seattle said in all, the family members improperly received $700,000 in federal and state benefits.

George could receive a nearly three-year prison term when he is sentenced.

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