Like Father, Like Son

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Shopping cart full of food in the supermarket aisle. High internal view. Horizontal composition

When you think of father-son activities, perhaps fishing, playing catch, camping, watching a sporting event or working on a car together come to mind. A Campden County, N.J., father-son duo had a different idea. The ringleader of a Gloucester City drug ring and his son trafficked prescription pills and committed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fraud together. (Well, I guess you could say that fathers and sons who commit fraud together, get sentenced together.)

Rocco DePoder, 68, and son, Michael DePoder, 41, were part of a team of more than a dozen people who were connected to a conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, Adderal and Xanax. (He paid $25 per oxycodone pill, then resold them. I wonder what the upcharge was.) The father, who collaborated with a supplier to sell prescription pills in New Jersey over 10 months, was accused of exchanging $8,300 in drugs for SNAP benefits. The transactions were on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, which were sold or given to others so they could unlawfully use the SNAP benefits. 

Son Michael DePoder, also of Gloucester City, admitted to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute Adderall, distributing oxycodone, and unlawfully acquiring and using SNAP benefits. The son also confirmed that he distributed Adderall to his father over four months, sold oxycodone pills to an associate, and unlawfully used and possessed $2,700 in SNAP benefits.

The father received a sentence of 70 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his crimes. He must also pay restitution for the $8,374 in SNAP benefits, forfeit a police badge, cellphones and nearly $6,600 in cash. (Wouldn’t you like to hear how he got his hands on a police badge?) The son was sentenced to five years of probation including 14 months of home detention with location monitoring. He must pay $2,676 in restitution for the SNAP benefits. Nine other defendants in the case have pleaded guilty and are waiting to be sentenced.

It looks like these two are going to need to come up with another father-son pastime other than committing fraud together. 

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Ringleader of Gloucester City Drug Ring and His Son Sentenced for Trafficking Prescription Pills and Engaging in SNAP Fraud,” dated October 8, 2021.

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Camden County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to a federal prison term for leading a conspiracy to distribute and sell oxycodone, Adderall, and Xanax while also defrauding the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and his son was sentenced for conspiring with his father to distribute Adderall, distributing oxycodone, and defrauding the SNAP program by using unlawfully obtained benefits sold to him by his father, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Rocco DePoder, 68, of Gloucester City, New Jersey, was sentenced to 70 months in prison. His son, Michael DePoder, 41, also of Gloucester City, was sentenced to five years of probation, with 14 months of home detention with location monitoring. Rocco DePoder previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb to an information charging him with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute oxycodone, distributing a quantity of oxycodone, and unlawfully acquiring SNAP benefits in exchange for controlled substances and unlawfully using and possessing those and other SNAP benefits. Michael DePoder previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before Judge Bumb to an information charging him with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute Adderall, distributing oxycodone, and unlawfully acquiring and using SNAP benefits. Judge Bumb imposed both sentences today in Camden federal court.

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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.