A Bend man was sentenced Tuesday to six months home confinement, repayment of more than $176,000 to Social Security and other conditions for collecting 17 years of fraudulent disability benefits.
Prosecutors said Richard Todd Rawlins, 55, a Bend real estate agent, received the payments while he not only worked but played golf, fished, went hunting and took a cross-country motorcycle trip, The Oregonian reported.
Rawlins began collecting disability after a 1988 plane crash left him with severe burns over 70 percent of his body. But he also returned to real estate work, claiming in a 1998 home refinance that he earned $12,300 per month, according to bank papers obtained by federal agents.
The newspaper said investigators discovered that he had renewed his pilot's license (after passing extensive medical exams) and got hunting and fishing licenses, while receiving the payments.
A 2010 Social Security review of his eligibility found Rawlins had failed to disclose his real estate earnings and his pay as property manager at Cascade Meadow Ranch in Sisters, also failing to report the ranch earnings on federal tax returns.
A prosecutor urged U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones to send Rawlins to prison for theft of government funds, while his defense lawyer asked for probation.
Instead, the judge sentenced Rawlins to six months of home confinement, five years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and to repay $176,607 in fraudulent benefits.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Helen L. Cooper. told the newspaper Rawlins took advantage of a program aimed at putting people back on their feet, and received benefits "much, much longer than he was entitled."