Feds say mortgage broker received disability benefits while continuing to work

Feds say mortgage broker received disability benefits while continuing to work

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A Covington man is facing federal charges that claim he was receiving Social Security disability benefits while receiving a paycheck as a mortgage broker.

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans says 68-year old James Briant was a mortgage broker and senior loan officer at Alpha Mortgage, LLC. The feds charged him Thursday with making false statements to the Social Security Administration in order to obtain those disability payments.

According to the Bill of Information, from around June 10, 2010, Briant applied for disability benefits for a back disorder and heart disease. Federal authorities say in December of 2011, he began receiving monthly disability benefits of approximately, $2,370, based on the representation that he was unable to work. During the time he received disability payments, he had an obligation to report any income he made to the SSA.

According to the bill of information, some time after that Briant began working as a loan officer and mortgage broker at Alpha Mortgage, L.L.C, earning a salary. He allegedly worked there until about June of 2017 and never reported to the SSA that he was working or earned any income. In a statement that Briant allegedly signed and certified under penalty of perjury that he had not worked since 2011. Federal authorities say he knew full well that this statement was materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent.

U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans stated that a Bill of Information is merely an accusation and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Saran E. Lieberman is in charge of the prosecution.

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