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Disability Impostor Claims He Makes $100K


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He’s in a wheelchair and appears to have a mental impairment, but police say that a Kentucky panhandler is faking his disability in a scheme to score cash.

Gary Hank Thompson, 30, is a common sight on the streets near Lexington, Ky. Sitting in a wheelchair, Thompson’s speech is slurred and he appears to have limited use of his hand.

While Thompson does have trouble walking, police say that everything else is just an act, one they called “very offensive and almost mocking of people who have legitimate disabilities.”

Acknowledging his con, Thompson told a local television reporter that he pulls in $60,000 to $100,000 annually from people on the street, reports The Lexington Herald-Leader. To read more click here.

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Comments (6 Responses)

  1. patm says:

    Wow! We are in the wrong field!

  2. MeToo says:

    Nothing new. There have always been beggars claiming a disability. This goes back centuries.

  3. soricobob says:

    OMG have we come a long way!

  4. Tim says:

    Sadly, this man is contributing to an old, hurtful steriotype about people with disabilities. For a long time, the begger image haunted those of us with disabilities, and it’s legacy can still be fould on occasion today. The poor begger with a disability holding out a cap to collect donations from caring folks was call “hand & cap”. Most people don’t know it, but this is how the dated term handicap first cane into existance as a refrence to people who have disabilities. It is shameful that a conartist would rehatch such a hurtful steriotype to line his own pocket. Mr. Thompson should be ashamed of himself for playing to such a degrading steriotype to scam decent caring folks!

  5. Dadvocate says:

    If our community wants to be smart about disability policy, we should take a leadership role in fighting the massive criminal fraud that’s putting disability safety nets at risk. I read next to nothing from leaders in our community about disability fraud. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the disability designation is being abused by folks and their enablers whose unemployment benefits have timed out. Profiteers gaming the system too (the Scooter Store being the most recent). The Wall St Journal, NY Times and many many others have written extensively on this issue. Unless we protect this category we risk losing it entirely. It’s well past time we offer more than crickets and focus current resources to protect long term resources.

  6. Jorma says:

    Nothing strange about this. In San Francisco there are at least a dozen people doing this. Another odd thing, as someone who uses a wheelchair myself, I notice that several of them have very high end chairs, which makes me wonder where they got them since Medicare, the only type of insurance I’m allowed (thanks conservatives, $340/month for almost nothing) won’t pay anywhere near the full cost of such chairs for me. They either stole them or they have the cash to pay what Medicare refuses.

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