Louisiana doctor sentenced to 21 months for disability fraud

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(KTAL)

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A Louisiana surgeon has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for fraudulently receiving Social Security benefits even though he had been working in well-paying positions for years.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Shreveport said in a news release Wednesday that John T. Owings, 60, of Shreveport was sentenced to 21 months by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote. He also was ordered to pay restitution of more than $200,000.

Owings is a former chief of trauma at the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, the news release said. He was convicted in 2019.

Prosecutors said he applied for disability benefits in 2008 and continued receiving the benefits after returning to work in 2012 as a surgeon at the University of California-Davis making $22,000 a month. His pay jumped to $40,000 monthly in 2013 when he was hired at LSUHCS, prosecutors said, yet he continued to receive disability benefits through June of 2017.

“Owings used the benefits to pay for personal expenses and fund his coin collecting hobby,” the release from U.S. Attorney Alexander C. Van Hook said.

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