Jonesville man convicted of theft

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 5, 2009

ALEXANDRIA — A Jonesville man has been convicted of felony theft of government money after an approximately four-year investigation

The case was initiated based on information received from the Alexandria Social Security Administration District Office.

The evidence indicated that Ben N. Nugent, 49, 106 Sharp Road, Jonesville, failed to report to the Social Security Administration that he had returned to work.

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This collaborated effort between Louisiana State Police and Social Security Administration investigators revealed that Nugent had been working since approximately 2000.

During this time, he concealed his employment from the Social Security Administration and at one company he used his girlfriend’s Social Security number to avoid detection.

In addition, Nugent signed statements on three different occasions as part of the Social Security Administration’s Constituting Disability Reviews in which he denied working.

As a result, Nugent and his dependents were paid $68,234.60 in benefits to which they were not entitled.

On Feb. 19, Nugent was sentenced in the Alexandria Division of United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana before U.S. District Judge Dee Drell.

Nugent was sentenced to nine months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, which will be followed by three years of supervised release.

He was ordered to pay the Social Security Administration $68,234.60 in restitution and a $100 special assessment fee.

Nugent was sentenced based on his guilty plea and conviction for theft of government money.