Akron man accused of defrauding agencies out of nearly $350,000

Akron man accused of defrauding agencies out of nearly $350,000

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - An 11-count federal indictment was filed charging Akron man with defrauding federal and state agencies out of nearly $350,000 by claiming he was disabled while actually working as a home-repair contractor.

James Van Buskirk, 53, faces charges of theft of government funds, wire fraud, and fraudulently securing


"These programs exist to help those who are truly disabled and cannot work," said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "We will continue to prosecute those who abuse programs like these for their own enrichment."

The indictment alleges Van Buskirk stole $75,823 in Social Security benefits designated for the truly disabled by reporting complete disability while still performing physical labor as a home repair contractor. He similarly falsely applied for and received $269,932 from the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation (OBWC) through the same scheme to defraud.

Van Buskirk executed this scheme from approximately November 2002 through April 2014, according to the indictment.

The indictment also alleges that Van Buskirk concealed and failed to disclose his self-employment, knowing that it would affect his right to Social Security disability benefits.

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