Mooch

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Moochers are usually not well thought of, and neither are fraudsters. (Both prey on the generosity of others to get something they really don’t deserve.) Not all moochers are fraudsters, but fraudsters are generally considered to be moochers. An article published by the Charleston Daily Mail tells how one man mooched off of the government by continuing to collect his mother’s Social Security checks after she died.

The article states that the son continued to withdraw his mother’s Social Security benefits for nearly two years after she died. He received $24,660 before his mother’s bank detected suspicious activity and issued a fraud alert to the Social Security Administration. (According to court records, he used his mother’s debit card to spend the undeserved benefits at the grocery store, gas station and at a local restaurant.)

The 31-year-old man pleaded guilty to theft of government money and access device fraud. He is facing up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and has agreed to pay back the money he withdrew from his mother’s bank account.

Sometimes parents allow their children to mooch off of them for a period of time while trying to find a job or save some money. This man was old enough to know better than to take advantage of his deceased mother’s government benefits. (Unfortunately, the mooching will continue as taxpayers foot this fraudster’s bill, while he serves out his prison sentence.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Hurricane Man Admits to Social Security Fraud,” written by Andrea Lannom and published by the Charleston Daily Mail on January 7, 2015.

A Hurricane man admitted to illegally taking more than $20,000 in Social Security benefits that was paid to his dead mother.

Vallas Paul Bell, 31, was charged in a three count federal indictment with theft of government money and access device fraud. He pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft of government money and prosecutors will ask to have his other two counts dismissed at sentencing.

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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.