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Disability Fraud

Posted on 30th March 2018 at 08:20

A popular local fishing guide who was convicted last year of illegally harvesting wild Coho salmon is in even deeper water now, after having been convicted of disability fraud in federal court. The U. S. Attorney’s Office is reporting on the conviction of Billy Jim Swann, 53, as he was accused of illegally receiving disability benefits for eight years. U. S. Attorney Annette Hayes says that Swann first applied for disability benefits in 2006, claiming that he had been injured and was unable to work since 2003. That claim was denied, but Swann appealed, claiming that he had only been able to volunteer at an Alaska fishing camp for a few weeks. He claimed that an injury in 2003 left him with limited ability to climb stairs or use his hands, and he had to walk with a cane. He also claimed to have cognitive problems, limiting his ability to continue a conversation. Between 2006 and 2014, Swann had a highly-successful fish guiding business, taking clients on trips all across the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. In 2012, a year that Swann claimed that he had not worked at all, he took in more than $92,000 from his guide business. Earlier this week, Swann was found guilty of perjury, wire fraud and Social Security fraud, and his sentencing is set for June 22nd of this year. Last March, Swann was fined $7,500 for illegally catching and keeping two native Coho salmon on the Cowlitz River, an episode that was taped and then was streamed over the internet.