A Surfside Beach couple pleaded guilty in federal court in Florence Monday of bilking the federal government out of nearly half a million dollars. At the change pf plea hearing evidence was presented that showed that 55 year old Frank Vass, Jr. and his wife 64 year old Linda Vass both filed false claims and lied to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs about the condition of Frank Vass by claiming that he was only able to walk a few steps at a time and was required to use a wheelchair. Frank Vass also made false statements to the Social Security Administration. Because of the false statements attributed to the Vass’s the couple received $494,907.00 from the federal government which they were not entitled to, between 1999 and 2008.
Agents with Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration filmed 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. The couple will be sentenced at a later date. They face a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars and $250,000 fine.