The man who pretended to have a back injury suffered a $ 730,000 disability but was involved in weightlifting, the federal government says.


The prosecution said the former postal worker had pleaded guilty to fraudulently receiving payments for the disabled, alleging that he had severe back pain.

According to federal officials, Oklahoma residents were found to be engaged in “extensive physical activity,” such as weightlifting and vacation bicycles, despite possible injuries and income problems. ..

George Atley, 56, Face up to 10 years in prison According to a February 16 news release from a US law firm in central Florida, the stolen funds will require repayment of $ 732,459.46.

Utley’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News.

Utley pleaded guilty to one charge of receiving stolen government property. According to prosecutors, this began in 2009 and continued until March 2019.

The prosecution said Atley, who had previously worked as a postman at the United States Postal Service, began receiving disability benefits from the government after reporting a “work-related back injury” in January 2009.

He deducted these payments from $ 2,600 a month to $ 3,300 a month, but Utley wasn’t true about his other sources of income or his injuries, the federal government said.

During a hearing to receive a disability allowance, Utley clearly stated that he had never had a car accident, only standing in a break and injuring his back at work, court documents said. is showing.

However, the prosecution said the investigation revealed that he had nine car accidents, including several before he was allegedly injured in the break room. In the aftermath of multiple car accidents, Utley has filed civil suits against several different insurance companies. According to an accident in 1989, Atley injured his back, according to documents.

In addition, research reveals that since 2011, Utley has spent only $ 14 on prescription drugs in 2012.

“The overall lack of this prescription analgesic is inconsistent with the painful and incapacitating medical condition repeatedly claimed by Utley,” the prosecutor said in a court document.

Utley was asked to report on other sources of income he received and his improvement in physical condition, court documents said. However, since he began receiving disability allowances, he has not reported any money or improvement in his back.

According to bank records, he hasn’t reported any other source of income, but Utley has deposited money from a garbage removal company that appears to be owned by him. In addition, according to court documents, investigators found Atley owning real estate in Pennsylvania. He was a landlord and he was paid by the Philadelphia Housing Department after he began receiving disability allowances.

A Facebook post also shows Utley participating in a variety of activities that prosecutors say are inconsistent with his claim of “debilitating, work-related back injuries.” These posts include photos of him working out, standing next to a mountain bike, fishing, and spending his vacation in the Grand Canyon. According to court documents, everything was posted by Utley.

According to the prosecutor, video surveillance revealed that Atley was working in his yard for hours at a time, and a former postal worker was lifting, carrying, and crouching without help. In addition, the footage showed Utley carrying a race car and crawling underneath.

According to the prosecutor, the doctor examined Atley in 2018 and determined that he was suitable for returning to work. But instead, he attended vocational rehabilitation training and told experts that he would never return to work.

Prosecutors said a search of his email revealed that Atley had a “big source of income” other than the money he received monthly from the government.

Utley’s actions over the decade have caused the US government to lose more than $ 732,000, officials said.

“If he had adhered to the mandatory reporting requirements, Utley would not have received these … benefits,” a court document said.

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