Sunday, September 19, 2021
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Social Security and Income Fraud

Driving to Prison

A Dominican national, Ronald Lara Pena, 35, has pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud after falsely using another’s Social Security number and lying about it. (Fraudsters tend to wrongly think that they’ll never get caught.) Lara Pena previously resided in Lawrence, Massachusetts and admitted to...

From Cage to Cage

Leona Biser, 52, of Vestaburg, Pa., allegedly confined her 53-year-old, disabled sister to a wooden cage so that she could wrongfully collect her older sister’s Social Security Income payments. Biser claimed she kept her sister in a lumber and plywood, gated enclosure because she...

Lions and Tigers and Fraudulent Medical Reports, Oh My 

Samuel Pérez-Rivera of Puerto Rico prepared and submitted fraudulent psychiatric medical reports to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Dr. Américo Oms-Rivera signed the reports and both have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Pérez-Rivera pleaded guilty to the sole count of Information on March 12, 2020. The same day, he was charged for fraud in the application process for...

Mother of the Year

A Carroll County, Va., woman has pleaded guilty to Supplemental Security Income fraud after receiving disability benefits for which she was not entitled. Jessica Lynn Hawks, 37, lied to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration for more than two years. Hawks admitted that from...

No Benefit or Bright Side

A Greene, Oreg., resident convicted of defrauding the Social Security Administration has been sentenced. Edwin N. Harris, 46, previously pleaded guilty to felony counts of concealing income and making false statements of material facts to his entitlement to benefits. Harris had been collecting benefits from...

Playing Post Office

George William Doumar’s Oregon mailbox business came in handy, once he decided to fraudulently cash in on his aunt’s Social Security benefits. In the late 1980s, he changed his aunt’s address from New York to Klamath Falls, with her benefit checks coming to his...

Missing Children

The looming shortfall in the Social Security trust fund means that fraudsters who get benefits they’re not entitled to not only steal from taxpayers, but they also potentially rob future recipients of benefits they’ve worked decades to obtain. Of course, that’s no concern to...

Forgetful Widow

Many widowed individuals struggle financially when a spouse dies. Most cope by selling assets, working a second job, or maybe renting a room out in their homes. Fraudulently claiming a late spouse’s Social Security benefits is not a good financial choice. But that was...

Civil Disservice

With great access comes great opportunity for fraud, as evidenced by the scheme perpetrated by a claims specialist in the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of International Operations. Cheikh Almet Tidiane Cisse of Baltimore, Maryland, began using his position and SSA systems to siphon...

Tangled Web Unravels

A Montana woman parlayed 17 years of deception into more than $325K of government benefits she was not entitled to. This included nearly $196K in fraudulent Medicaid benefits. Tanya Smith began receiving government benefits in 1987, and then married in 2002—which made her ineligible for...
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