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Paint Contractor Admits to Stealing Government Funds

Michael Patatoukas pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Tampa, FL, to stealing Government funds over a four-year period by working as a paint contractor while he was receiving social security disability benefits. The crime was uncovered during an investigation of bridge painting contractors on projects funded by the Federal Highway Administration in Oklahoma and involved allegations the contractors were illegally dumping toxic lead paint residue into navigable waterways. During the investigation, agents determined that Patatoukas had been paid $25, 299 in social security benefits even though he was working. The charges were filed in Tampa where Patatoukas received the benefit checks. The investigation was conducted jointly by OIG, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Social Security Administration OIG, and the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.