A former air traffic controller was convicted by a federal jury on Jan. 13 of mail fraud and false statement charges after working while accepting disability benefits.

Raymond Elmo Deskins III, 52, of Potomac Falls, failed to disclose work activities in the construction industry to the Department of Labor Office, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Deskins had received nearly $700,000 in federal workers' compensation benefits.

U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady accepted the jury's verdict.

Deskins will face up to 20 years in prison on each of nine counts of mail fraud and a maximum of five years on each of three false statements counts. He will be sentenced on May 4.

The former air traffic controller was indicted on Aug. 25 in connection with the collection of federal workers' compensation benefits.

Deskins, who worked at the Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center in Leesburg, had been collecting money from the compensation program since 2004.

From 2005 through 2008, Deskins worked as a construction foreman for a Sterling-based general contractor. During his employment, he was receiving disability benefits from the government based on his alleged inability to perform any work of any kind.

In order to keep the monthly benefits checks in the mail, Deskins falsely certified to the Department of Labor on an annual basis. He said during this period that he had not worked over this time period, court documents state.

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