Surfside Beach man sentenced to 27 months in prison

Published: Dec. 8, 2010 at 7:11 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2011 at 6:01 PM EST
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Surfside Beach, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WMBF) – A Surfside Beach man has been sentenced in federal court for the theft of government funds, according to U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.

Frank Vass, 56, was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment and five years supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $483,532.25 in restitution to the Veterans Affairs Administration and to the Social Security Administration.

At the change of plea hearing, evidence established Vass filed false claims and lied to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs about his physical condition. Vass claimed he was only able to walk a few steps at a time and required to remain in a wheelchair.

Vass also made the same claims to the Social Security Administration in order to receive benefits.

This occurred between Dec. 1999 and Dec. 2008 and resulted in $494,907 taken from the agencies.

Agents were able to film Vass walking his dog, washing his van and driving to the Veterans Affairs Administration, where he would unload his wheelchair and wheel himself in for treatment. While there, Vass would claim he could not get out of his wheelchair or walk.

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