Martha’s Vineyard man convicted of Social Security fraud

Prosecutors say Harris stated in his application for benefits that that he stopped working in 2001 due to his disabilities

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BOSTON (AP) — A Martha’s Vineyard man has been sentenced to six months in prison for stealing more than $160,000 in Social Security benefits he was not entitled to receive.

Federal prosecutors say 53-year-old Vernon Harris, of Oak Bluffs, was also sentenced Thursday in federal court to three years of probation and ordered to repay the money after pleading guilty in December to theft of public money and tax evasion.

Prosecutors say Harris stated in his application for benefits that that he stopped working in 2001 due to his disabilities. In reality, he was running a trucking brokerage firm out of his home.

Harris also sent a letter to the Social Security Administration, claiming that his wife was the household’s sole source of income.

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