LSUHSC doctor accused of stealing SS disability benefits

LSUHSC doctor accused of illegally drawing disability benefits

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - The trauma medical director at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport is accused of illegally getting more than $200,000 in disability payments.

A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted 58-year-old Dr. John T. Owings, of Shreveport, on one count each of theft of government property and concealing that he was ineligible for Social Security benefits, the U.S. attorney's office reports.

The indictment alleges that Owings applied for Social Security disability benefits in March 2007.

After being awarded the benefits, he was required to report whether he resumed working.

Owings began work in 2012 as a surgeon for the University of California-Davis, where was paid $22,000 a month.

He joined LSU Health in 2013, where the U.S. attorney's office says he earns $41,400 a month.

"Based on his employment, Owings was ineligible to receive disability benefits," the U.S. attorney's office reports.

"However, he concealed the employment changes from the Social Security Administration. And, as a result, he received more than $200,000 in government money that he was not entitled to."

Owings was "instrumental in assisting LSU Health Shreveport's primary teaching hospital partner, University Health, in regaining its Level One Trauma Center designation," according to LSU Health Shreveport's website.

If convicted as charged, Owings could be ordered to serve up to 10 years in prison on the theft charge and five years on the other charge.

He also would face a $250,000 fine and five years on federal supervised release on each count.

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