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Social Security Fraud: A Rocky Issue

Being approved for social security is about as guaranteed as a coin flip coming up tails. Statistics vary, but on average, anywhere from 50 to upwards of 70% of applicants are rejected on their first pass.  While this may seem unwarranted to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are genuinely suffering from a disability, the rationale behind the grueling approval process boils down to the deterrence of fraud and white collar crimes.  In 2011, over 100,000 allegations of fraud were made, ultimately leading to thousands of investigations and hundreds of millions of dollars wasted.  With the recent case of Glenn Taylor in the news, disability fraud is rearing its ugly head — again.

Utah - Social Security Fraud: A Rocky Issue

“Disabled” Man Finds the Strength to Topple Boulders

Glenn Taylor is the man at the center of the latest disability fraud imbroglio.  In a twist of irony, the Boy Scout leader did anything but “leave no trace,” as the famed Scout saying goes: instead, he uprooted a natural structure which took millions of years to form.

The scene of the crime was Goblin Valley State Park in Utah.  The eponymous “goblins” are actually large boulders which, in a rather unusual presentation, perch atop narrow spires of rock and dirt underneath.  These sandstone goblins can weigh thousands of pounds.

Had Taylor been a healthy man, it would have been an embarrassing gaffe, and the story would have tapered off there.  But as they say, the plot thickens — because while upsetting the ancient structure was bad enough, the real crime is in Taylor’s back-story (no pun intended).

It has now come to light that Taylor — a man who managed to shove a massive boulder off of its pedestal — had filed a lawsuit to claim social security benefits only a month prior to the incident, citing “serious, permanent, and debilitating injuries.”  What’s more, the source of these “debilitating injuries” had supposedly occurred a full four years earlier when, in 2009, Taylor was involved in an auto accident.

Driving - Social Security Fraud: A Rocky Issue

Skepticism for Taylor’s Disability

Alan MacDonald, the defendant in the suit, is not impressed with Taylor’s conduct. “Someone with a bad back,” MacDonald said, “who’s disabled, who can’t enjoy life, to me, doesn’t step up and push a rock that big off the base.”

Taylor defends his actions, saying the precarious formation was posing an immediate threat to unobservant park-goers.  “That wasn’t going to last very long at all,” he explained to CNN.  “One gust of wind and a family’s dead.”

Jeff Rasmussen, who has been the Deputy Director of Utah State Parks and Recreation for over two decades, said in more than 20 years of service he had yet to see a goblin detach from or be blown off its base.

Perhaps it is cynical to be skeptical of Taylor.  Perhaps it is unfair to consider that he is attempting to siphon money away from those who truly need the assistance.  But for the thousands of Americans who are physically limited by disabling back injuries, a lively afternoon of hiking and boulder-toppling seems just a little far-fetched.  Perhaps Taylor can put his remarkable strength to good use — at work.

If you or a loved one is facing fraud charges or allegations of committing other white collar crimes, call the law offices of Young, Marr & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online.

 

 

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