Living Within Her Means


Fraudsters of all ages have at least one thing in common – greed. No matter the age, selfishness is usually the root of every fraudulent crime committed. An article posted on the Philadelphia CBS affiliate’s Web site reports that despite her age, a grandmother involved in collecting Social Security benefits for which she did not qualify, will be serving time for her crime.

The story states that the 74-year-old woman pocketed more than $155,000 in Social Security benefits that belonged to her deceased mother. (My guess is that she did not report her mother’s death 20 years ago and the checks kept rolling in.)

It turns out that the grandmother actually had a pretty good job working for the city of Philadelphia and made approximately $60,000 a year before she retired about seven years ago. She not only collected her own Social Security benefits, but her mother’s as well.

The article explains that the woman admitted living beyond her means. Despite the guilty plea, the judge still sentenced her to six months in prison plus another six months on house arrest. (It looks like the judge went easy on her because she was a first offender or perhaps because of her advanced age.)

Let’s hope that while she is serving out her sentence, she will take the time to contemplate how to live within her means instead of stealing from others, who have worked hard to earn their Social Security benefits.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”74-Year-Old Philadelphia Woman Sent to Prison for Social Security Fraud,” published by on June 30, 2014.

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia grandmother is going to federal prison for Social Security fraud.

74-year-old Nancy Gonzalez, a first time offender, was sentenced Monday to six months in prison — and then six months house arrest after she admitted stealing more than $155,000 in Social Security checks sent to her mother after her mother’s death in 1994.

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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.