ACA.dguidry.043019

Handcuffs photographed Tuesday, December 26, 2017.

A Plaquemine man who collected more than $450,000 in disability payments while working multiple jobs and even running a local business pleaded guilty this week to Social Security fraud, authorities said Tuesday.

Donald Daigle, 62, claimed he was unable to work following a car crash in 1998 but ran a convenience store and worked a handful of jobs while collecting disability benefits, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge.

"This plea should serve as a clear warning to those who mistakenly believe their fraudulent conduct will continue indefinitely and undetected," U.S. Attorney Brandon J. Fremin said in a statement Tuesday.

Daigle previously owned Duck’s Quick Stop and Pizza in Plaquemine and had been collecting disability payments during and after the store closed in 2009, officials said.

Federal prosecutors said he collected $457,460 in Social Security payments that he wasn't entitled to in the span of nearly two decades. They said he also worked as a truck driver and as a forklift operator at a chemical plant in that time.

Social Security fraud carries a five-year prison sentence and fines up to $250,000. Daigle remained free on bond ahead of his sentencing.

Email Youssef Rddad at yrddad@theadvocate.com.