An Inside Job

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Close-up Of A Doctor's Hand Analyzing Report On White Desk

Sanford Lamar Edwards,50, of Crawfordville, Ga., pleaded guilty to withholding employment information while applying for and receiving pension benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration. When sentenced, he faces up to five years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, and substantial financial penalties and restitution. (In other words, he’s going to pay for what he has done.)

Edwards served in the U.S. Army until 1995. He was hired in 1997 by the U.S. Postal Service where he made more than $65,000 annually. From May 2011 through January 2022, he was also paid $230,000 in veteran benefits while reporting that he had no income. (A government employee defrauded a government benefits program… the SAME government… for 10 years.)

Edwards also claimed that he had a medical condition preventing him from working. (I wasn’t aware fraud was a medical condition.)

Edwards failed to report any changes to his income or net worth throughout the decade he scammed the government, even though the U.S. Department of VA claims sent him many reminders and requests to do so. (Ironically, they must have gotten lost in the mail.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the Department of Justice article, “Postal worker admits fraud in applying for and receiving veteran benefits,” dated March 31, 2022.

AUGUSTA, GA:  A Taliaferro County, Ga., man has admitted withholding information about his employment with the U.S. Postal Service when applying for and receiving pension benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Sanford Lamar Edwards, 50, of Crawfordville, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to an Information charging him with False Statements in an application for veterans pension benefits, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The guilty plea subjects Edwards to a statutory penalty of up to five years in prison, followed by up to three years of supervised release, along with substantial financial penalties and restitution.

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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.