Sep 17, 2013 8:49 AM by AP (Photo courtesy MGN Online)

New Iberia man pleads guilty to theft of funds

A New Iberia man has pleaded guilty to taking more than $86,000 in Social Security Administration benefits to which he was not entitled.
U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley's Office says 52-year-old Buddy Estelle pleaded guilty last week before U.S. Magistrate Patrick Hanna.
Estelle began receiving SSA disability payments in 1984. At a routine meeting regarding his benefit eligibility in 2011, Estelle said he had not worked since 2000 but admitted during the guilty plea that he has been self-employed since 2000 and owned a business that buys and crushes cars.
The payments that Estelle improperly received totaled $86,261.30.
Estelle faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, restitution, and three years of supervised release.
Sentencing was set for Jan. 10.




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