Shackled by Fraud

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Shackles, which can be described in a literal or figurative manner, prevent people from doing something freely and without restriction. For example, prisoners wear shackles and chains to prevent them from going anywhere very fast. Once convicted, a criminal record will shackle or burden them for the rest of their lives. The Auburn Citizen reports on a woman who gave a tearful testimony in court about her illegal use of welfare benefits while bound by shackles.

The story states that a New York woman, who was receiving temporary assistance and food stamp benefits, did not report the income she received from selling items to a local pawn shop. (She used the proceeds to support a heroin addiction.)

The 37-year-old woman tearfully admitted to a separate theft-related incident in addition to pleading guilty to the misuse of $1,512 in welfare benefits and food stamps. It turns out that she had stolen a check from her neighbor and forged a $69.50 check to obtain groceries and cash. (Drug habits can be expensive.)

The article reports that this date in court was not her first. Prior convictions include claiming welfare and food stamp benefits for which she did not qualify. She was sentenced to five years probation and restitution for this crime, but she violated the terms of the agreement when she was allegedly caught stealing from a big box store.

This woman appears to be shackled by multiple issues. Let’s hope that her punishment will fit her crime and she will be able to learn from her mistakes and turn her life around.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Weedsport Woman Pleads Guilty to Welfare Fraud, Using Unreported Income to Buy Heroin,” written by Samantha House and published by The Auburn Citizen on September 5, 2014.

AUBURN | A Weedsport woman pleaded guilty to welfare fraud — admitting using her unreported income to support her heroin addiction.

On Thursday morning in Cayuga County Court, a tearful Sasha Binns acknowledged unlawfully receiving $1,512 worth of temporary assistance and food stamps benefits in 2012. At the time, she was selling items to Pawn King and using the unreported funds to support her habit.

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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.