Layers of Deception

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Close-up Of A Businessperson's Hand Giving Cheque To Colleague At Workplace

A husband and wife from Dearborn, Mich., carried out a multi-level layered fraud scheme when they deceived the Federal Government by fraudulently collecting $60,000 in food stamp benefits, declaring a false bankruptcy, and lying to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). (Sounds like they made the decision to go big AND go to the Big House all in one fell swoop. I predict this decision will not go well for the couple.)

Abraham Elsaghir, 52, and his wife, Samar Elsaghir, 51, started off their ruse by filing a voluntary Chapter 7 petition in bankruptcy in May 2017. By August of the same year, the couple received a discharge of their debts. (It’s important to note that the Elsaghirs falsified their bankruptcy report by failing to report and underreporting their income.)

Around the same time, the deceptive duo also made false statements to the IRS regarding their 2016 tax return and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) so they could illegally receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamp benefits.

It turns out that between 2014 to 2020, the Elsaghirs received approximately $60,000 in food stamps they were not entitled to receive. And for the years 2014 – 2018, the couple neglected to pay $70,000 in taxes. (Not exactly a small sum.)

Abraham Elsaghir pleaded guilty to one count of false statement to an agency of the United States, one count of federal income tax evasion, and one count of bankruptcy fraud. Samar Elsaghir pleaded guilty to the same charges, with the exception of bankruptcy fraud. When sentenced, each defendant faces a maximum of five years in prison. Abraham Elsaghir also agreed to pay more than $166,000 to unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy case. (They can only hope they’ll be able to share a prison cell. Good luck with that request.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Couple wrongly receives $60K in food stamps, declares false bankruptcy,” published on mlive.com on February 24, 2022.

DETROIT – A husband and wife have pleaded guilty to federal charges related to a fraud scheme that included wrongly receiving food assistance, a false bankruptcy and lying to the IRS, officials said.

Abraham Elsaghir, 52, of Dearborn, pleaded guilty to one count of false statement to an agency of the United States, one count of federal income tax evasion, and one count of bankruptcy fraud, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Samar Elsaghir, 51, of Dearborn, pleaded guilty to one count of false statement to an agency of the United States and one count of federal income tax evasion. They both pleaded before Judge Laurie J. Michelson, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

 

 

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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.