Home Sweet Fraud

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Home ownership has long been part of the American Dream. But when someone opens the door to fraud, nightmares breeze right in. The Daily News of Newburyport recently reported that a New Hampshire woman, who owned multiple properties, has pleaded guilty to stealing federal and state welfare benefits.

According to the story, her crimes included submitting applications for Food Stamps, Medicaid and Social Security disability benefits that actively concealed two pieces of real estate that she owned. Her failure to list the properties effectively lowered the value of her assets to a level necessary to qualify for government assistance—assistance that she otherwise would not have qualified to receive. (”Actually, Officer, this is a friend’s mansion.”)

The false statements she made to the U.S. Social Security Administration and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services enabled her to illegally collect $62,425 in benefits. (Well, she had to pay her mortgages somehow!) They also landed her in federal court, following a joint federal-state investigation by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

After the woman pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security fraud and four counts of making false statements, a federal judge ordered her to pay back the federal and state government more than $62,000 in stolen benefits and sentenced her to three years of probation, followed by six months of house arrest. (But in which house?!) Hopefully, half a year of being confined to her home will help this woman appreciate all she has.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Seabrook woman sentenced for fraud,” written by Angeljean Chiaramida and published by The Daily News of Newburyport on January 26, 2016.

CONCORD, N.H. — A Seabrook woman was sentenced to three years’ probation in federal court on Friday, after defrauding the government of $62,425 in Social Security, Medicaid and Food Stamp benefits.

Beverly Eaton, 57, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in September to one count of Social Security fraud and four counts of making false statements, New Hampshire’s U.S. Attorney Emily Gray Rice announced recently. Eaton was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement.

She was also ordered to pay $51,189.70 in restitution to the Social Security Administration and $11,235.36 to the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services.

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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.