Happily Never After

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Partial view of Social Security card, US Treasury checks and hundred dollar bills. Finance and retirement concept.

A lot of married people put on a perfect facade for the rest of the world, while in reality, every marriage has its problems. One New Hampshire couple did the complete opposite. Despite being happily married, they pretended to be estranged for years, so they would qualify for government aid.

April Carroll of Fremont pleaded guilty to charges of Social Security fraud in late July. Carroll admitted to making false statements about the status of her marriage and finances so she could fraudulently receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than nine years.

The intent of SSI is to provide monetary support to those who are in dire need of financial assistance.  Applicants must meet certain requirements to be eligible for SSI benefits. This includes having limited income and resources that would allow you to qualify for financial assistance. The assets of all family members are used to determine need and eligibility.

Carroll applied for Social Security disability benefits on multiple occasions and was denied because she did not meet the criteria of need. (Some people just don’t take rejection well.)

When she applied again in 2010, Carroll falsely claimed that she and her husband were separated and he did not provide her with any financial support. (Not sure if I’d want to risk speaking this into existence.)

The truth is that Carroll and her husband were never separated and had lived together for over a decade. They shared their household as well as other monetary assets. The lie successfully made her eligible to receive benefits. Over the past ten years she has received a total of $77,953 from the government. (Money that could have been aiding those facing severe financial hardship.)

Caroll continued to claim that she and her husband were estranged during interviews with the representatives from the Social Security Administration in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. (Maybe she could cut it as an actress if she can keep up a facade for that long.)

She would not have been eligible for continued SSI benefits if not for this continued facade.

It wasn’t until a home interview in February 2020 that Carroll admitted to investigators that she had been lying for years. (If she was hoping a confession would redeem her, she’s sorely mistaken.) Carroll also revealed that she co-owned her house with her husband, shared a joint bank account, and that during no part of their marriage did her husband live at an alternate address like she claimed on her benefits application. 

Carroll is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2, 2020 for committing Social Security fraud. (Seems like it won’t be happily ever after for this couple after all.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Fremont woman pleads guilty to social security fraud,” published by the New Hampshire Union Leader on July 27, 2020.

CONCORD — A Fremont woman pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of social security fraud, prosecutors announced Monday.

April Carroll, 62, of Fremont, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Concord, U.S. Attorney Scott Murray said in a statement. Carroll is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2.

 

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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.