Being famous isn’t an insurance against getting in trouble with the federal government, as a well-known actor from “The Sopranos” has found out. Raymond Franza, 47, who played mobster “Donny K” on the HBO television show has agreed to a plea deal to avoid a triple felony count.
Franza, a Brooklyn resident who used to live in Bulls Head, was facing charges of third-degree grand larceny, third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and making a punishable false written statement. The plea deal cut the charges down to a misdemeanor count of attempted making a punishable false written statement, as well as disorderly conduct.
If Franza pays $9,000 within one year to the Social Security Administration, the misdemeanor plea would be withdrawn and he would be left with only the disorderly conduct charge, which would be sealed. However, if he fails to pay back the SSA on time, he will be sentenced under the misdemeanor charge. This could lead to Franza spending 90 days in jail.
The charges came about late last year when Franza was arrested for accepting about $13,000 in Social Security disability benefits from June 2008 to August 2009. The issues is that at the same time he was receiving the federal disability benefits, Franza was also getting $4,000 a month in payments from his private insurance.
Franza should have disclosed this income to the SSA when he applied for disability benefits, however he claims he did not understand the application process and the failure to disclose his insurance income was simply a misunderstanding.
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