DETROIT — A Detroit man who illegally collected $325,000 in federal disability payments has dodged a prison sentence and will spend six months in a community corrections center.
Judge David Lawson says Vernon Harris’ crime over 21 years is “disturbing.” He says a stay in a halfway house will put some restrictions on Harris while he continues working at a funeral home to repay the government.
The judge told Harris on Wednesday that he stole from others in need. He says the Social Security system is not a “bottomless well.”
The government says Harris worked under a different Social Security number while claiming to be disabled under his correct number. The scheme ran from 1994 to 2015.
Prosecutor Ryan Particka (Par-TICK’-uh) says Harris lived rent-free at the funeral home during the scam.