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Tennessee Truck Driver Pleads Guilty in Social Security Disability Fraud Case

On June 11, William D. Pickel, of Blountville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenville, Tennessee, to a charge of Social Security disability fraud. Pickel, a former truck driver for Classic Transportation, Bristol, Virginia, admitted to illegally receiving $128,000 in disability payments after falsely certifying on workers compensation forms that he was unable to work for medical reasons when, in fact, he was continuing to operate a commercial motor vehicle. In addition to the Social Security disability fraud, Pickel was indicted on March 13 on charges of making false statements concerning his medical qualifications to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce; falsifying medical certificates; intimidating two witnesses; and lying about the destruction of driver dispatch logs to conceal his driving activities. The non-Social Security disability fraud charges were dropped. OIG is conducting this ongoing investigation with the FBI, the IRS Criminal Investigations Division and the Social Security Administration OIG. Sentencing is scheduled for September 24.