Deconstructing Fraud

21610268 - woman taking some letters from mailbox

Fraudsters are lazy. They’ll scheme and con their way to riches by taking the easiest path available no matter how many people they run over in the process. A Department of Justice press release tells about a fairly young man who travelled along a deceptive path and stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Social Security Administration (SSA) by claiming he was disabled.

The story details that the young man applied for disability benefits, but at the same time returned to work full-time for a construction company. When the checks started rolling in on a monthly basis, he did not report the extra income to the SSA. Three years passed, and when questioned by investigators, he told them he had not worked for five years. (This was obviously a lie.) Seven more months passed and he admitted to SSA investigators that he had not been truthful about his work activities. (I guess either the guilt or the evidence stacked against him finally got to him.)

The government alleged that the fraudster illegally received more than $71,000 in disability benefits that he did not deserve. The 34-year-old man pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud and is facing a maximum of five years in prison.

Unfortunately, the fraudster in this case didn’t think about the people he victimized along the way – citizens who depend on Social Security to meet their daily needs. (This con man probably thought he was pretty smart for getting money from the government without having to work for it.) Fortunately, the government showed up with a demolition crew and deconstructed his scheme.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on a press release titled ”New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty to Social Security Fraud” released by the Department of Justice on June 9, 2015.

CONCORD, N.H. –Craig Luksza, 34, of Chichester, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire to Social Security Fraud, announced Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith.

In July 2010, Luksza began receiving Social Security disability benefits. Shortly after he applied for benefits in December 2009, however, Luksza returned to work full-time for a construction company. Luksza’s income from this job would have rendered him ineligible to receive disability benefits. Luksza did not report this work activity to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, in fact, in December 2013, he falsely told SSA that he had not worked since December 2008. In July 2014, Luksza admitted to investigators that he concealed his work activity and income from SSA. As a result of his concealment, Luksza received disability benefits that he would not have received if Social Security had been aware of his actual work activity and income. The government alleges that Luksza fraudulently received $71,180.50 in disability benefits.

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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.