Pro tip: If you're trying to con the government out of benefits by claiming you're too disabled to work, better not to run for office — much less publish two books and register six new businesses with government agencies.
That's the only advice we can offer after witnessing the strange saga of 33-year-old Eugene Dokes, who held a job as chairman of the St. Charles County Republican Caucus, among many, many other high-profile pursuits, even while claiming he couldn't work and collecting $48,000 in federal disability payments. And here we thought Republicans were against generous benefits for the unemployed!
The thing about schemes this obvious, though, is that they tend to crumble, and so it was with Dokes: Today he pled guilty to four counts of theft of government funds in federal court. He'll be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson on September 19.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, which prosecuted the case, Dokes had applied for Social Security benefits in 2007, saying he had been unable to work since 2003. In 2010, in response to a questionnaire from the federal government, Dokes repeated how impossible he found work to be, stating that he "did not engage in any social activities; had lost any interest in family and friends; and, limited his hobbies and interests to playing video games and watching television."
Yet a bio on the St. Charles County Republican Caucus website
paints a far more active picture to sell Dokes' candidacy as a state representative:
Eugene Dokes started his career as a Real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Gundaker at the age of 24. That same year he started a real estate investment company; and two years later he became a broker and began his own real estate agency, “e.Dokes Real Estate Brokerage”. His understanding of business deepened as he earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration with minors in Psychology, Sociology, and Management from Columbia College. Eugene later earned his Master’s degree in Business at Lindenwood University and is currently finishing his PHD in Organization Management (Business) at Capella University. He has maintained a perfect 4.0 as a PhD student and is currently working on his dissertation on a topic focusing on entrepreneurship and government policy.
Indeed, the U.S. Attorney's Office notes that during the time Dokes collected disability, he earned a Bachelor's and a Master's degree, ran for state rep, started six businesses, wrote two books, served as a member of the Missouri Advisory Board for United States Commission on Civil Rights and led the St. Charles County Republican Committee. We're getting tired just reading about it.
Dokes faces up to 10 years in prison for each count, plus fines of up to $250,000.
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