Disabling Disability Fraud

Thief holding a social security card.

Sir Walter Scott once said, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.” (How right he was.) Jane B. Smith, 65, of Hudson, N.Y., can attest to that after pleading guilty to attempted wire fraud and making false statements regarding ill-gotten Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments.

The Hudson woman began receiving SSDI payments in 1993. As part of the agreement with the Social Security Administration, Smith was required to report any changes in her employment and income. (As you might guess, she didn’t hold up her end of the bargain because she was spinning a web of deception.)

Apparently, Smith worked for a variety of employers between 2007 and 2018, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). (She should know never to bite the hand that feeds her.) She failed to report these jobs to the SSA. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading about her case.)

The SSA was on to Smith’s scam though, and actually cut off her benefits multiple times between 2007 and 2018. (Each time that happened, Smith managed to keep those SSDI benefits rolling in, even though she was not entitled to receive them.) She went as far as to file a false police report in February 2018 with the Nashua Police Department, claiming she was a victim of identity theft. She swore that someone else had used her name to get a job with all of those other employers. (She also submitted similar false statements to the IRS and the SSA.)

By February 2021, Smith confessed that she had lied about her work and was not a victim of identity theft because she was afraid of losing her benefits. (Rightly so.) She was able to obtain more than $90,000 in benefits as a result of her nefarious actions. Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on January 13, 2022. (Let’s hope that her sentence disables any future attempt to exploit this government program, and any other for that matter.) 

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Hudson Woman Pleads Guilty to Crimes Related to Social Security Disability Benefits,” dated October 8, 2021.

CONCORD – Jane B. Smith, 65, of Hudson, pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday to attempted wire fraud and making false statements, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.  

According to court documents and statements made in court, Smith began receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments in 1993.  She was required to report any changes in her employment and income to the Social Security Administration (SSA).  However, between 2007 and 2018, Smith worked for multiple employers, including the IRS, and failed to report her employment to the SSA.  The SSA learned of Smith’s employment and suspended her benefits several times during that time period.  On each occasion, Smith took steps to cause the SSA to provide her with SSDI benefit payments that she was not entitled to receive.

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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.