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Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Whether one says “aunty,” “auntie,” or “aunt,” the role an aunt plays in family and society is universally recognized as vital. And for Janis Miller, hers was more vital than most. Because Auntie was essential to Janis Miller’s scheme to steal over $1 million from Social Security benefits and the U.S. taxpayer.

In 1998, Auntie died. Whether everyone was in such grief that essential paperwork wasn’t filed, or Janis didn’t put the stamp on the envelope, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) were unaware that Auntie passed away. So SSA and OPM continued paying retirement and survivor benefits to her bank account. Over $1.01 million for the next twenty-five years. But this didn’t sit in the account accruing interest. Using a debit card, cash withdrawals and forged checks, Miller took care of all those funds for her own benefit.

After seemingly being duped for over two decades, an SSA employee called the phone number listed for the aunt to see if she was still living in October 2022, given that she’d be over 100 years old. The government actually does look for anyone celebrating their 100th birthday, to make sure they really are alive. Miller answered the phone and engaged in conversation with the SSA employee, impersonating her deceased aunt. Unfortunately, Miller provided the wrong birthdate of her aunt in response to the screening questions! And OPM and SSA discovered the fraud and discontinued the benefits. Now Miller is facing twenty-five years in prison.

Excellent job by the SSA and OPM.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Woman who ‘stole more than $1m over 25 years’ using ghoulish trick is arrested after officials realized her mistake” published by The Sun on December 28, 2023
A woman has been caught after allegedly using a ghoulish trick for years to steal money from the United States government. The New Jersey resident was accused of illegally collecting Social Security Administration (SSA) retirement benefits for over 25 years that were intended for her aunt, who died in 1998.

The Social Security Administration has accused a New Jersey woman of stealing over $1 million in illegal benefits. Social Security Administration agents became suspicious after a phone call with the woman last year. The SSA claimed the woman pretended to be her deceased aunt for 25 years.

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