What’s in a name? For some, jail time.


The Republican via MassLive.com reports on a particularly strange web of lies woven by a Massachusetts man during his plot to steal more than $100,000 worth of social services from the state and federal government. Prosecutors allege that the man used a stolen social security number and the associated name to apply for government subsidies related to unemployment, Social Security and the MassHealth Personal Care Attendant Program.

But here’s where it gets weird: After the Massachusetts man began collecting benefits under a stolen alias, he circled back to MassHealth and listed himself—by his real name—as the personal attendant to his new, fraudulent identity. (A fresh identity AND a nurse/personal assistant? Talk about a life makeover!) It remains unclear why exactly that contract was terminated (beyond the obvious reasons), but it was, and his reaction was to disregard this sign of impending exposure and find another way to fraud. Soon after he applied for unemployment compensation using his real name, the authorities closed in on the man and he was brought before a federal judge.

Ultimately, this naughty ”nurse” admitted to pilfering welfare benefits under a stolen identity and pleaded guilty to three counts of falsely using a social security number. He was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison, followed by three years of probation, and ordered to pay $76,288 in restitution to the U.S. Social Security Administration, along with an additional $83,865 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services and $20,573 to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance.

Using a stolen identity to commit welfare fraud is doubly despicable. (Those of you who have ever been victimized by identity theft know how insufferable it is to untangle yourself from such a mess.) We can only hope that he spends his two years behind bars wisely, and truly considers the far-reaching effects of his behavior.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on, ”Holyoke man who hired himself as his own personal care attendant sentenced to 2 years for defrauding Social Security, MassHealth,” written by Patrick Johnson and published by The Republican via MassLive.com on February 5, 2016.

SPRINGFIELD – A Holyoke man was sentenced on Friday to two years in prison for fraud after he admitted to using a fake name to receive $108,000 in Social Security and MassHealth benefits.

Eddie Saez was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni to three years probation after his release, and to pay restitution in the amount of $76,288 to the U.S. Social Security Administration, $83,865 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and $20,573 to the state Department of Unemployment Assistance.

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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.