Nebraska Man Fined $55,000 for Pretending to Be Blind to Collect Disability

A 63-year-old Ord man was sentenced Friday to three years probation and ordered to pay more than $55,000 for pretending he was blind to receive disability benefits.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Omaha, Robert Arnold Tucker applied for Social Security disability benefits in April 2001, saying he had been blind since June 1, 1999. Tucker also said he was "photophobic" and could not take vision tests to determine whether he was blind.

His original claim was denied because a state employee saw Tucker driving. Tucker moved for reconsideration, and in March 2003, his claim was granted.

But an investigation revealed that on June 14, 1999, Tucker obtained a Wyoming driver's license and that during the testing process, his eyesight was found to be 20/20 in each eye.

In the past three years, multiple people in Ord have seen Tucker driving, putting up a fence and digging a trench, according to investigators.

Tucker could have been sentenced to up to five years in prison. He will spend 6 months of his probation under house arrest.