Hijacked Credentials

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Credentials are important if you want to obtain a certain status, privilege or right. For example, if you want to be recognized as a doctor, you must provide proof that you graduated from medical school and have the appropriate credentials to practice medicine. If you want to visit a foreign country, you must provide a passport as proof of identity when you get there. An article published on Click2Houston.com follows the story of a woman who hijacked someone else’s credentials and then committed Social Security fraud.

The story states that the 36-year-old woman used another person’s name and Social Security number to get a job as a financial coordinator at a Houston clinic. While working at the clinic, she submitted false applications for financial grants to assist patients with kidney dialysis. (This is a wild guess, but I assume the patients didn’t need the dialysis in the first place.) After receiving the grant checks at the clinic, the fraudster would forge patient signatures and keep the money. (She got away with approximately $66,000.)

The fraudster pleaded guilty to mail fraud and Social Security fraud. She faces up to 25 years in prison.

By falsifying grant applications in order to obtain money for selfish reasons, this woman prevented extremely ill patients from receiving life sustaining services. Congratulations to the Secret Service and Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General for stopping this woman in her tracks. Perhaps while serving time in jail, she’ll understand what it is like to have her credentials stripped. She’ll be just another number in the penal system with very few rights or privileges.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Financial Coordinator at Houston Clinic Guilty of Fraud,” published by Click2Houston.com on August 12, 2014.

A financial coordinator at a Houston clinic, who used another person’s name and Social Security number to get the job, faces up to 25 years in prison for fraud.

Prosecutors say 36-year-old Simone Nicole Gary of Houston applied for financial grants for kidney dialysis patients and then kept the money.

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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.