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Virginia Man Faked Paralysis, Sentenced To 20 Years

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Brent Adams
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A man from Buchanan County, Virginia has received a federal prison sentence of 20 years after his admission that he spent two years faking paralysis from the neck down to, among other things, receive fraudulent Social Security disability benefits.

According to U.S. Attorney Julia Dudley, 31-year-old Hurley, Virginia resident Timothy Ling and his parents have also been ordered to make a payment of over $500,000 in restitution.

According to prosecutors, Ling and his mother used his fake paralysis to persuade social-services in their area to provide them with financial aid, even as they continued to cash disability checks from the Social Security Administration and defraud credit card companies of approximately $345,000.

The money they received was used for shopping sprees, vacations, casino gambling, and the construction of two Pikeville, Kentucky homes. Ling also purchased two cars valued at over $100,000.

The sentence Ling received stemmed from a variety of charges. He had earlier entered a plea of guilty to several fraud charges in addition to obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit tax evasion, money laundering, and identity theft.

Federal prosecutors say Ling began faking quadriplegia in January of 2004 in order to avoid a prison sentence for violating probation after a 2000 conviction of falsifying a medical prescription.

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