Zero Sum Fraud

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Committing welfare fraud in a county that operates a ”Zero Tolerance” Anti-Fraud, Waste and Abuse Program is clearly a zero sum game. Such is the case with an upstate New York couple who were nabbed by the Ulster County District Attorney in 2014 for stealing almost $44,000 in various social service benefits over a four-year span of time, reports the Daily Freeman.

Beginning in 2010, the couple reportedly submitted to the Ulster County Department of Social Services (DSS) at least five welfare benefits applications that intentionally underreported their total earned income. (A case of zero pride to go along with zero thought for others who were truly eligible for these benefits.)Throughout the following four years, their similarly fraudulent re-certifications for social services benefits programs, such as Temporary Assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid, netted them a total of $43,896 in illegal welfare benefits.

Of course, ”Zero Tolerance” finally caught up to them, and a joint probe by the DSS Special Investigations Unit, the District Attorney’s Office and the Town of New Paltz eventually landed the couple before a judge. (Where they earned a big goose egg in sympathy.) Both were hit with multiple felony charges of varying degrees, including welfare fraud in the third degree and five counts of first degree offering a false Instrument for filing. After the husband pleaded guilty to the third degree welfare fraud charge, he was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to repay DSS for the outstanding balance of the stolen funds. (His wife also faces conviction—next in line, please, zero waiting time!)

It goes without saying: If you live in a place with ”Zero Tolerance” for welfare fraud, steal at your own risk.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on ”New Paltz man gets probation in $44,000 welfare fraud case,” published by the Daily Freeman on February 8, 2016.

KINGSTON >> A New Paltz man has admitted to defrauding the Ulster County Department of Social Services of nearly $44,000, but won’t face jail time, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.

Jeffrey Dimarco, 55, of New Paltz, pleaded guilty in Ulster County Court Thursday to welfare fraud, a felony. Authorities said Dimarco, over a period of four years, illegally obtained benefits totaling $43,896 from the Ulster County Department of Social Services by failing to report all income being earned by members of his household.

Dimarco was sentenced to five years probation, one year disqualification of benefits and repayment of the remaining monies owed ($23,896) as a special condition of probation. Dimarco’s wife, Carmen, is also facing welfare fraud charges.

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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.