Daddy’s Girl


There is a special place in a father’s heart for a daughter – it is a special bond that only those two can understand. But, could such a bond translate into fraud? According to a Seattle Times article, the passing of a father led his daughter to defraud the U.S. government and take advantage of a system intended to help those in need.

Nineteen years after the passing of her father, a Washington woman will have to answer for the near two-decade fraud she committed, using the deceased man as the pawn in her fraudulent scheme. (I was just trying to be a good daughter and keep his money in the family!) The case stemmed from an anonymous tip to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in December 2012. An investigation determined that this case is one of the largest Social Security fraud cases ever perpetrated in the State of Washington, nearing more than $900,000 of stolen benefits over 19 years.

Investigators explained the woman neglected to notify the SSA about her father’s death and took action to make sure his Social Security benefits continued to be issued each month. Court records indicate the woman forged documents and even had a man impersonate her father on the phone to keep the benefits rolling in. The judge ordered her to pay $240,000 in restitution. She also received 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Why was she able to get away with this fraud for 19 years? This is a classic example of why agencies need to leverage public records data to authenticate and verify the individual receiving benefits actually is the individual entitled to receive them.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Seattle Woman Sentenced for Social Security Fraud,” and published by the Seattle Times on June 22, 2013.

A Seattle woman has been sentenced to 18 months in prison plus three years of probation for illegally collecting her dad’s Social Security benefits for more than 19 years after he died.

Fifty-seven-year-old Patty Buchanan was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court.

U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan says Buchanan forged documents and even had someone impersonate her father on the telephone so she could continue collecting his Social Security after he died in 1993. She was charged with making more than $900,000 in fraudulent collections.

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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.