The Young and the Felonious


If you already have 15 felony ”priors,” you’d think you’d be a bit more careful not to break the law. Alas, some people never learn. The Herald Bulletin has the story of an Indiana woman who was already serving prison time for convictions related to forgery and theft when she was caught collecting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks. The presiding judge called her record the worst he’s seen ”for someone her age.”

According to the report, the woman illegally collected the benefits from prison, where she’d landed after pleading guilty to nine counts of forgery and another three for theft. She had a total of 15 felony convictions under her belt, along with another unresolved case—having to do with her fleeing home detention and theft (rejecting one’s own possessions to steal someone else’s…oh, the irony!)—by the time she was caught pilfering the SSI benefits, which are meant to be distributed to a qualifying minor’s guardian. In this case, that would be her child’s father, whom the child had lived with for at least three years.

For her illegal actions specifically surrounding the SSI benefits, she added seven more felony charges to her growing rap sheet, including three counts of welfare fraud, three counts of perjury and one count of theft. For the multiple counts of welfare fraud, she was sentenced to six years in prison and she received another 2.25 years for the remaining charges. (Eight or so years from now, that will still be hefty rap sheet ”for someone her age”!)

A tremendous amount of resources go into investigating, trying and convicting criminals, so a hefty prison sentence is the last resort for dealing with repeat offenders who show a blatant disregard for the law and the far-reaching implications of their crimes.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on, ”Woman sentenced to 6 years for welfare fraud,” an article written by Devan Filchak and published by The Herald Bulletin on March 1, 2016.

Lockwood said Reid’s criminal history is the worst record he’s seen of someone her age.

Reid received six years each on the three counts of welfare fraud, and she received 2.25 years for the rest of the charges, which will all run concurrently.

The charges are based on Reid’s collection of SSI benefits between June 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013, when she was serving time under a plea agreement for nine counts of forgery and three counts of theft. The father of Reid’s son said the boy had lived with him for at least three years, court records said.

Reid had another open case for escaping in home detention and theft. That case was dismissed, as was arranged in the plea agreement.

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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.