LAFAYETTE — A 47-year-old Lafayette man who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits since February 2011 was arrested Monday, accused of operating two businesses — an auto-sales business and A-1 Affordable Siding Inc. — out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.
And, as part of that investigation, State Police said, it was discovered that 47-year-old Alan Jude Bernard, 721 W. Gloria Switch Road, also had committed tax fraud through the auto sales business.
State Police say Bernard filed false statements to the Social Security Administration and the Louisiana Department of Disability Determination Services when he applied for disability benefits, claiming his bad back and anxiety kept him from working and that he received no income and did not own or co-own a business.
Investigators with the Social Security Administration’s Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit implicated Bernard during an almost 11-month investigation that began Dec. 28, 2013, police said.
A-1 Affordable Siding Inc. is listed in good standing through the Secretary of State’s Office since its most recent report in April. Bernard first filed to incorporate the business in 1997.
He’s also accused of illegally lowering the sales prices on his auto-sales receipts to reduce tax costs when filing through the state Office of Motor Vehicles, police said.
The Louisiana Used Car Commission revealed Bernard purchased 53 vehicles at two auto auctions, costing him an estimated $159,000, police said. When he resold the vehicles, he reported a lower dollar amount to the state than the actual sales price on some of the vehicles, police said.
State Police said the receipts and written statements from some of Bernard’s customers conflicted with his tax filings on those car sales.
Bernard was booked on felony theft, which carries a minimum of five years and up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000. He also was booked on filing false public records and first-degree injuring public records, both of which carry a sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.
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