A Whiting man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to Social Security fraud.

Daniel Fitzsimmons, 54, received Social Security disability payments starting in 2002 and continuing to 2013, even though he was an active commercial fisherman during that time, according to court documents.

Officials say Fitzsimmons and his dependents received over $157,000 in disability benefits.

Fitzsimmons was required to certify that he could no longer perform “substantial gainful work” in order to continue receiving benefits, and in forms submitted to the Social Security Administration and during an in-person interview, he reported little work activity and very low annual earnings between 2002 and 2013.

However, an investigation revealed he was actually consistently engaged in commercial fishing over that period.

Fitzsimmons, who pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor, faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced after a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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