Pilot Pleads Guilty To Fraud
February 20, 2010 - After 911, when a series of coordinated suicide attacks by Al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jets and intentionally crashed two of the jets into the Twin Towers, the federal government began looking at pilot licensing requirements.
One the areas the feds began looking into, beginning in 1992, was a review of pilots who had made disability claims with the Social Security Administration. The feds were interested in identifying those pilots who had used different doctors, one to certify fitness to fly and another to certify disability for SSA benefits. This was a coordinated effort between The Department of Transportation, the Social Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration.
After two days of
trial, Dean Anthony Toth, age 38, of Oldham County, Kentucky, pled
guilty to conspiring to defraud the Department of Veterans Affairs by
filing a fraudulent claim for military disability benefits, and for
structuring bank transactions, United States Attorney Candace G. Hill of
the Western District of Kentucky announced on Friday.
Toth served on active duty in the Marine Corps from 1995 to 2004, and
was an F-18 pilot who was named the 2003 Marine Instructor of the Year.
Toth admitted that between July 2007 and November 2008, he conspired
with Daniel Ryan Parker, a former employee of the Disabled American
Veterans, to file a fraudulent claim for military disability benefits,
claiming that he was deaf in both ears. Parker worked with Jeffrey
McGill, a former Department of Veterans Affairs employee, to falsify
Toth’s military medical records showed yearly audiometry exams, all of
which reflected that Toth’s hearing was within normal limits. Toth is
now a pilot with Southwest Airlines. In mandatory yearly physicals
conducted by the Department of Transportation in March 2006, March 2007,
and March 2008, Toth reported no hearing loss or problems, and passed a
conversational voice test conducted at six feet. Nonetheless, Toth
pursued a military disability claim for hearing loss, and Toth admitted
that he knew that Parker would falsify his medical records to support
In return Toth agreed to pay Parker two-thirds of any retroactive
payment he received. On August 10, 2007, Toth took a hearing exam and
the results indicated that his hearing was "within normal limits."
Parker and McGill, however, altered Toth's exam results to reflect that
Toth had profound hearing loss, and McGill personally reviewed Toth's
As a result,
Toth's claim was approved for 100 percent disability based on hearing
loss with special monthly compensation for deafness in both ears. On
October 31, 2007, the VA paid Toth $93,240 in retroactive disability
payments, and Toth also began receiving over $2,500 per month in
disability payments. These monthly payments were tax free and would have
continued for life.
Toth deposited the
$93,240 in his bank account, and in November 2007, Toth withdrew $30,000
in cash from his bank, in three separate $10,000 withdrawals. Toth
admitted that he structured these withdrawals to avoid bank reporting
requirements for transactions over $10,000. Toth later gave Parker an
additional $32,160 in the form of a cashier’s check. The total payment
to Parker of $62,160 represented exactly two-thirds of the retroactive
payment. Parker subsequently shared that kickback with McGill.
potential penalties for Toth are 10 years’ imprisonment, a $500,000
fine, and supervised release for up to three years.
The case was
prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Weiser, and it was
investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the
Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The plea was
entered before Jennifer B. Coffman,
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