Honey Do List

Thief holding a social security card.

It seems like many spouses complain that their partners don’t listen to them or do what they are asked to do, but Stephen Schwartz must have been really bad at following instructions and ignoring that honey do list. Bad enough, at least, for Rebekkah Schwartz to feel that her husband should qualify for disability benefits. In 2016, Stephen Schwartz was seeking reinstatement for disability benefits and asked his wife to help fill out the Expedited Reinstatement Request Form. Mrs. Schwartz filled out the claim stating that her husband could not “drive a big truck, keep log books, follow map/directions . . . carry on a conversation, count, concentrate, [and] follow instructions . . . .”

Well, all fraudsters have trouble following instructions but that doesn’t qualify them for any social security benefits.  On July 6, 2022, Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz were found guilty of Theft of Government Funds and Aiding and Abetting in the amount of $167,756 for disability pay.

In 2017, the SSA did reinstate Mr. Schwartz’s disability benefits from 2016 forward, basing the decision on Mrs. Schwartz’s plea.  However, while Mr. Schwartz might not have followed instructions, he could still drive a truck. While Mr. Schwartz was receiving his newly reinstated disability benefits, he was working as a driver for a roofing company.  The money he earned from the roofing company was paid directly to Mrs. Schwartz to hide his income from the SSA.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz have been sentenced to 6 months prison time followed by three years of supervised release.  Hopefully these two are also banned from ever receiving government benefits again.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article posted by Forth Smith Times Record on July 6, 2022

Fort Smith couple sentenced in scam against Social Security

By Robert Medley

A Fort Smith husband and his wife have been sentenced to six months in prison after their guilty pleas on charges alleging a scheme to collect money fraudulently from the Social Security Administration.

Stephen Wayne Schwartz, age 55, was sentenced to 6 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and Rebekah Jolea Schwartz, age 44, was sentenced to 6 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. They were ordered to pay restitution, jointly and severally, to the Social Security Administration, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Arkansas.



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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.