Leaving the Wrong Legacy

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Do you ever think about how you will be remembered long after you’re gone? There are many ways to leave a great legacy such as donating money to a cause, mentoring others, or spending quality time with family and friends. A man from Clio, South Carolina will long be remembered for using his niece to commit Social Security fraud.

 We don’t know much about the man in today’s fraud article. (Perhaps he was a kind uncle who spent time with his niece. Maybe he attended her school functions and took her out for ice cream on a regular basis. Or not.) Somewhere along the line, he decided to use his niece to fraudulently obtain Child’s Insurance Benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Child’s Insurance Benefits are federally funded. (This means that you and I as taxpayers pay for the program.) The SSA administers the benefits for children whose parents have worked and earned enough Social Security credits and are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits. If a parent becomes disabled or dies, the Social Security benefits help provide support for the family’s financial future.

The uncle carried out his fraudulent scheme by falsely representing himself as the father of his niece. (I wonder how his sibling or parent of the child felt about this when they found out about his crime?) He even went as far as to submit a fraudulent birth certificate claiming to be his niece’s father. (It’s never a good idea to falsify a government document.) As a result, he was able to illegally collect more than $41,000 from the SSA over a six-month period.

The 54-year-old South Carolinian pleaded guilty to the theft of government funds through Social Security fraud. He is facing a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of $250,000.

Who knows what this man was thinking when he chose to use his relative to commit fraud. Suffice to say, family get-togethers are going to be pretty tense in the near future. (He has definitely left the wrong legacy and will be long remembered for being a criminal.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, SC man claimed niece was his daughter, stole tens of thousands from government,” published by The State on March 4, 2018.

FLORENCE, SC – A South Carolina man who scammed the government out of tens of thousands of dollars is facing significant punishment.

Martin Luther Dease, 54, pleaded guilty in federal court in Florence, to theft of government funds, according to U.S. Attorney Beth Drake. Dease is a resident of Clio, a short distance from the border between South Carolina and North Carolina, in the Pee Dee area.

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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.