Driving to Prison

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Social security card and American money dollar bills close up concept

A Dominican national, Ronald Lara Pena, 35, has pleaded guilty to Social Security fraud after falsely using another’s Social Security number and lying about it. (Fraudsters tend to wrongly think that they’ll never get caught.)

Lara Pena previously resided in Lawrence, Massachusetts and admitted to fraudulently using a Puerto Rican citizen’s identity to gain Massachusetts identification cards and a driver’s license. (Too bad he won’t have anywhere to drive while he is incarcerated.)

The identity was also used to apply for MassHealth benefits between September 2015 and September 2020. (Even after five years of lying, he still didn’t feel guilty enough to stop.) Lara Pena wrongfully received $12,600 from this federal fund.

Lara Pena was indicted in September 2020 and pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number and of making a false statement relating to health care matters.

Falsely representing a Social Security number may result in a $250,000 fine, a sentence of up to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Likewise, fabricating statements relating to health care matters may also result in a $250,000 fine, a sentence of up to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. A sentencing date has not been determined.

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Former Lawrence Resident Pleads Guilty to Social Security Fraud,” published by Yahoo! News on July 23, 2021.

Jul. 23—BOSTON — A Dominican national pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to false representation of a Social Security number and making a false statement relating to health care matters.

Ronald Lara Pena, 35, a Dominican national previously residing in Lawrence, pleaded guilty to one count of false representation of a Social Security number and one count of making a false statement relating to health care matters. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled by the court. Pena was indicted in September 2020.

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Larry Benson
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.