Confined by Fraud

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65167688 - social security disability claim concept

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to disabled adults and children with limited income and resources. But there are a few things that applicants must reveal when filling out the form to qualify for benefits. A Malden, Massachusetts woman left out some key information about her living arrangements, which led to Social Security Fraud in addition to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fraud.

Living arrangements are a key part of the SSI application process, because it helps to determine eligibility. The fraudster in today’s article claimed that she was the only adult in the household, despite the fact she lived in the same home that she co-owned with her child’s father, who also lived there. (She even provided the correct address on tax returns, driver’s licenses and other records for 14 years, but she claimed that the child’s father did not live there.)

Over the 14 years she omitted some key information about her living arrangements. The mother collected $166,487 in SSI and SNAP benefits based on the incorrect details she provided. (SSA uses a household’s total income to determine whether someone is eligible to receive SSI benefits.) When the father’s income was added to the equation, the family was not eligible to receive benefits under either government assistance program.

The 40-year-old woman from Malden was sentenced to one month in prison, two years of supervised release with six months served under home confinement. She will also pay total restitution for the more than $166,000 in federal benefits she illegally received by providing false information about her family. (Note to self – never, ever lie on a government benefits application.)

It would be interesting to find out what this woman spent the extra $12,000 per year on. (I’m guessing it was not used as intended by the government benefits program. And, she’ll probably be selling some of her possessions – like her home – to make up for what she stole.) It looks like this fraudster’s obvious omission is about to cause her living arrangements to be pretty uncomfortable. (She’ll be behind bars in an uncomfortable jail cell for a month, but she may also find herself without a home to be confined to if she can’t pay back her debt.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Malden Woman Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Receiving Federal Benefits,” posted on ItemLive.com on January 4, 2018.

MALDEN — A 40-year-old Malden woman was sentenced to a short prison sentence, home confinement and restitution of all the $166,000 she illegally received in federal benefits in U.S. District Court.

Julie Mijal collected more than $166,000 in government benefits by providing false information about her family. She was ordered to serve one month in prison, two years of supervised release, with the first six months to be served in home confinement, and ordered to pay approximately $166,487 in restitution.

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Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.