Decades of Lying

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One way that criminals defraud the Social Security Administration (SSA) is by failing to notify the agency about the death of a beneficiary, then they continue to receive and cash the checks of their deceased loved one. Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” spotlights two men who failed to inform the SSA that their parents had died. Together, they stole more than half a million dollars from the agency.

One man, who was 70 years old, continued to collect his father’s benefit checks for approximately 34 years. When asked about his father’s location, the man claimed his father had run off with a younger woman and was nowhere to be found. (That’s pretty amazing for a man that was apparently in his 90’s.) His lies enabled him to receive $241,171.60 he did not deserve. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release following the jail time and was also ordered to pay full restitution.

Another man, 68, completed and submitted 11 annual certifications to the Defense Finance & Accounting Services (DFAS) swearing his mother was eligible to receive benefits, even though she was actually dead for more than a decade. He also failed to inform the SSA of her death. He received $271,819 from his mother’s SSA spousal benefits and DFAS survivor benefits. This fraudster was sentenced to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $254,965.14.

While the SSA Death Master File contains information about many deceased citizens, these two cases show that without proper notification and cross-checking efforts across multiple relevant databases, sometimes Social Security fraud can go undetected for decades. However, there is one thing you can count on – no matter how long it takes, the government will go after those who deceive and steal from those who qualify for and deserve Social Security benefits.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Social Security Fraud Leads to Prison Sentences for Two Area Men,” published by the Marietta Patch on November 23, 2016.

ATLANTA, GA — Two men from the Atlanta area will serve time in federal prison for stealing Social Security checks sent to their deceased parents, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday.

John W. Jackson Jr., 70, of Decatur, and Corry Sandlin, 68, of Marietta, lied to the government about their parent’s deaths and fraudulently received more than $500,000, the prosecutors said.

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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.