Former County Employee Sentenced For Disability Scam
James Robinson was caught on tape cutting trees at a Carney home after taking disability leave from the county.
A Joppa man who was caught on video cutting trees after taking disability from the county was sentenced to jail Thursday in a Towson courtroom.
James Robinson was sentenced to five years in jail with all but six months suspended and must repay the county $49,000. Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge John Grason Turnbull also sentenced Robinson to five years unsupervised probation.
As a condition of the sentence, Robinson must repay the county $49,000 or be sent back to jail.
Robinson entered an Alford Plea in June. The plea is not admission of guilt but an acknowledgement that prosecutors have enough evidence to obtain a conviction should the case go to trial.
Robinson, who was on disability retirement as a laborer for the county, received more than $300,000 in payments from the county while on leave for an injury to his hand that he later claimed turned him into a paraplegic.
County officials became suspicious of the injury and hired a team of private investigators to follow Robinson.
Last year, the county cut off Robinson's disability payments. During a case before the county Board of Appeals, county attorneys presented more than two hours of video showing Robinson was far less disabled than he claimed.
In one clip, Robinson can be seen in his county-purchased wheelchair in the back yard of his father's Carney home.
In the video, Robinson is shown holding a pruning device with his right hand—the arm he claimed was severely injured. Later Robinson uses his right hand to pull the cord to cut branches before dragging the debris away.