Bodybuilder Can’t Lift Heavy Weights


If you read someone needs a cane to walk and cannot lift more than 10 to 20 pounds, would you be more likely to guess your grandma or a bodybuilder?

Bodybuilder Zachary Barton, a 35-year-old U.S. Army veteran, was convicted of disability fraud when he made a false claim on a mental health test. He reported to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Palm Beach that he had been in combat, which would qualify him for post-traumatic stress disorder benefits. The financial rewards accumulate to more than $245,000.

Barton fabricated the events in his life by stating that he is experiencing muscle weakness and cannot lift more than 20 pounds. He reported that since 2010, he has been using a cane to walk.

This statement could not be further from the truth. Barton can do more than the average person on any given day. He was a professional bodybuilder who participated in competitions, and Barton publicly posted his accomplishments on his social media pages. None of these posts featured a man struggling with a cane.

According to investigators, “While he lived in St. Lucie County, Barton had a membership at the Palm Beach Sports Club in Port St. Lucie. Records showed he checked in almost daily during that time.”

There was an evident track record contradicting his disability claims. An undercover agent, disguised as a potential client, exposed his lies. Barton told the agent he had been lifting weights for ten years. He requested the agent to meet him at Flex Gym & Fitness for a workout.

Before beginning the exercise, Barton warned the agent that it would be an intense workout regime. During the lifting, Barton talked about performance-boosting steroids and “bragged his use didn’t even affect his ability to get an erection.”

That was ample evidence to revoke the disability compensation benefits. Officials confronted Barton regarding the fraudulent claims, and he did plea guilty.

Barton needs the money more than the cane.


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