Plain and Simple

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social security card and money concept

The Social Security Administration (SSA) makes it plain and simple to understand the terms under which a qualified individual can receive Social Security disability benefits. The bottom line is that an individual must have a medical disability that prevents the claimant from having gainful employment. A Northfield, New Hampshire man put those plain and simple terms to test in a Social Security disability fraud case where he concealed the truth about his gainful employment.

The New Hampshire man was actually working as a mechanic when he applied for disability benefits in 2012, claiming that he had been unable to work since the beginning of 2011. As a result of keeping his employment information private, he began receiving Social Security disability insurance benefits in October 2013. Under the agreement he had with the SSA, he was required to report whether he was working and how much money he was making. (Let’s just say that he did not keep up his end of the deal.)

The 51-year-old Northfield man deceived the SSA on multiple occasions, even though he knew doing so would cause his disability benefits to stop. During a 2016 in-person work review meeting with the SSA, the man told the government agency official that he was not working. The following year, during a Department of Motor Vehicles inspection by the New Hampshire State Police, the man told the inspector that he was gainfully employed as a mechanic and state vehicle inspector. (Apparently, he was a hard worker, clocking in an average of 47 hours per week.)

The icing on the cake came in 2018 when the man from New Hampshire admitted to an investigator from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that he had been working since 2008. (The mechanic probably realized that at this point in time, the rubber had met the road and he needed to be honest.)

 The middle-aged fraudster finally admitted guilt for trying to pull off a Social Security disability fraud scam that involved lying about his employment situation and ability to work over three-and-a-half years. The defendant was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement for lying. (The SSA was not only upfront and honest about the ramifications of lying to the government, it delivered on its promise to make sure that disability benefit recipients are also honest. You can’t get plainer and simpler than that.)

 Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article,Northfield man sentenced for Social Security disability fraud, published by the Union Leader on July 16, 2019.

CONCORD – A 51-year-old Northfield man was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for making false statements to obtain Social Security disability insurance benefits, U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray announced Tuesday.

According to court documents and statements made in court, mechanic Robert Gallagher applied for Social Security disability benefits in May 2012 by falsely claiming he had been unable to work since Jan. 1, 2011.

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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.