Candidly Criminal

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If you’re going to carry around an 8-inch knife, an airsoft pistol and a marijuana pipe, with someone else’s Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card wrapped around your neck, it is advisable that you choose your method of transportation —and your words—wisely. MLive.com reports that a Michigan police officer pulled over a driver whose windshield was cracked, license plate was obscured, and who was not wearing a seatbelt, only to find that her overly nervous passenger was actually the greater offender. (I mean, I’d be nervous, too, in that situation…)

When the state trooper started asking questions (perhaps about why he was sweating bullets and twitching), the 25-year-old male passenger acknowledged that he was carrying a large knife that he purchased at a flea market. (And then his mouth runneth over.) His ”ex” and mother of his three children owned the EBT card which, just that day, he had used to purchase a Mountain Dew and a pack of smokes.

(But, you ask, are you even allowed to buy cigarettes with food stamps? Or course not—stay with me.)When the officer inquired how he managed to buy cigarettes with the EBT card, the man walked him through how he electronically deducted money from the account to do so. (Too much information.) And thus he was arrested on charges of carrying a concealed weapon and food stamp fraud.

That was in May of 2007. After failing to appear in court, another seven years would go by before this otherwise communicative criminal would be apprehended. By the time he was brought back to court, the prosecutor agreed to drop his felony weapons charge if the man pleaded guilty to food stamp fraud. True to form, he did, and was fined $510 in court costs.

Driving around in a street illegal car with real and toy weapons, drug paraphernalia and evidence of welfare fraud is incredibly reckless and dangerous. That fact this guy squeaked by with a misdemeanor is incredibly rare, and most likely due to the fact that he was direct and forthright with the arresting officer. Moral of the story: Don’t steal from the government. (And never, ever lie to the police.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Bridge Card fraud from 2007 costs man $510 in court fines,” written by Cole Waterman and published by MLive.com on February 24, 2016.

BAY CITY, MI — A Bridge Card fraud nearly a decade ago has cost a Twining man $510.

Bay County District Judge Mark E. Janer on Thursday, March 17, ordered Calvin D. Snellenberger to pay $510 in court fines and costs. Snellenberger paid the amount, court records show.

The debt was the extent of Snellenberger’s sentence. Snellenberger, 34, in February pleaded guilty to one count of food stamp fraud of $250 or less, punishable by up to 93 days in jail. In exchange, the prosecution dismissed a five-year felony count of carrying a concealed weapon.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.