"Wicked Tuna" T.V. Star Sentenced in Federal Court for Disability Fraud
Paul Herbert, a former Marshfield man, was receiving government disability benefits between the years of 2010 and 2013 but was employed on the reality television show “Wicked Tuna.”
On Wednesday, June 8th 2016, Mr. Herbert pleaded guilty to charges of Social Security and Medicaid fraud and was sentenced in Burlington’s federal court. He was charged with accepting more than $44,000 in disability benefits last summer and was sentenced to four years’ probation and a $5,000 fine. Paul Herbert, now of Gloucester, must also pay more than $53, 600 in restitution as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Prosecutors stated that Mr. Herbert first applied for Social Security disability in the spring of 2009, claiming on his application that he was unable to work any job, could not walk properly and could not lift heavy weights or drive for more than short distances. He began receiving benefits in October 2010.
Herbert has been on ‘Wicked Tuna” since 2012. The National Geographic show is centered on Gloucester-based boats that try to land Bluefin tuna, which can weigh hundreds of pounds and fetch tens of thousands of dollars.
Mr. Herbert’s defense attorney Paul Volk said Herbert applied for benefits before he got the job on the television show. He states himself and Herbert think it’s a fair resolution to the case
While this case highlights the consequences of abusing Social Security Benefits there are many individuals that desperately need disability help and government assistance. Regrettably, The Social Security Disability System is very complex and more than half of applicants get denied benefits. Many reasons are due to improper paper work, deadlines, and technicality issues.
Qualifying for Social Security Benefits
In order to qualify for benefits you must be both medically and financially eligible. This means you must have a permanent condition that prevents you from being able to work as well as not being able to earn an income.
Medical Conditions The disability prevents them from working, meets the social security disability requirements, prevents them from doing another job given their age, skills, and education
Financial A person must not be able to earn a certain amount of money per month, otherwise they will be considered to be “gainfully employed” and ineligible for benefits. Additionally, a person must have already been paying taxes into the Social Security Disability System for the required amount of years.
Contact Our Gerogia Law Firm
Our Social Security Disability Attorneys have the necessary resources and skills required to help you receive disability benefits and financial relief.
Our Social Security Disability Attorneys are confident in helping you find a resolution and positive outcome to your disability case. Our office offers a Free Case Review to see how we can best assist with your needs. Contact our attorneys today, we can help.