Unknown Fraud

Hand with tweezers holding id photo over passport as if forging the travel documents

A former resident of Lawrence, Mass., who was living under a false identity, was sentenced in Boston on charges arising from his use of the stolen name and Social Security number belonging to another U.S. citizen. An individual referred to as “John Doe,” was sentenced to 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release. (Apparently, they are still trying to find out who he really is.)

“John Doe” began using the identity of this U.S. citizen in 2014 to apply for MassHealth benefits and Massachusetts identification documents, among other things. From approximately 2014 to 2018 Doe fraudulently received approximately $25,081 in MassHealth benefits, to which he was not entitled.

“John Doe” pleaded guilty to false representation of a Social Security number, making a false statement concerning a health care benefit program and aggravated identity theft. (It doesn’t matter if this fraudster doesn’t have a name, he’ll have a prisoner ID number.)

This case was investigated with the help of special agents across the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of the Inspector General. (Sometimes it takes a few government agencies working together to catch a criminal.)

It goes to show that even though the identity of the fraudster remains unknown, the justice system has provided punishment for this man’s crime. (Whether you have a name or not, you will pay for stealing from government programs.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, ““John Doe” Sentenced for Identity Fraud Charges,” dated September 30, 2021.

BOSTON – An individual previously residing in Lawrence who has been living under a false identity was sentenced today in federal court in Boston on charges arising from his use of the name and Social Security number of a U.S. citizen.


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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.