(STL.News) – United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced that Donald “Duck” Daigle, age 62, of Plaquemine, Louisiana, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles to fraudulently obtaining disability payments from the Social Security Administration. As a result of his conviction, Daigle faces a significant term of imprisonment, a fine, and a period of supervised release.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, Daigle falsely claimed he was disabled and unable to work as a result of a 1998 automobile accident. He also admitted that from June 2002 through October 2018, on numerous occasions he concealed and failed to disclose to the Social Security Administration that he built, opened and ran daily operations as a small business owner, Duck’s Quick Stop and Pizza, in Plaquemine, Louisiana until it closed in 2009. Thereafter, Daigle failed to disclose that he performed work as a commercial truck driver and as a forklift operator employed at a chemical plant. He further admitted that, as a result of his fraudulent scheme, he knowingly and illegally collected $457,460 in payments to which he was neither entitled nor eligible.
U.S. Attorney Fremin stated, “Those who steal benefits from any federal program deserve the attention of federal investigators and will be aggressively prosecuted. This plea should serve as a clear warning to those who mistakenly believe their fraudulent conduct will continue indefinitely and undetected. I commend the efforts of our prosecutor and our partners at the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General for bringing this defendant to justice.”
“We are gratified by the guilty plea in this egregious case,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “We will continue to uphold the integrity of Social Security’s disability programs by pursuing those who knowingly receive benefits they’re not eligible for. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its support in pursuing justice in this case and recovering funds for those who truly need them.”
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Dallas Field Division of the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lyman E. Thornton III