Former Latta Mayor Alan Berry was sentenced in federal court in Florence Wednesday to 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release for defrauding the Social security Administration and the Hartford Insurance Company. From January 2000 to November 2008, Berry fraudulently collected $325,000 by falsely claiming he was unable to work in order to collect disability benefits even though he was working as mayor of Latta. He was also working for the Fast Tax Service in Latta.
During the trial, Berry claimed a South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agent had falsified documents to make it appear that he, Berry, was working. Prosecutors say that to hide his employment with the tax service, Berry had checks issued in his wife’s name. To hide his employment as mayor of Latta, he refused to accept a monthly salary. Berry was also ordered to pay $244,000 in restitution, $6200 to the Hartford Insurance Company, and a special assessment of $6000.