Replacing Fraud

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Most things can be replaced. For instance, if you wear a hole in the bottom of your shoe, you can purchase a new pair and throw the old ones out. An article published in the Idaho Statesman tells about how one Idaho man went about getting replacement Social Security benefits checks. There wasn’t anything wrong with the original check. He actually received it and cashed it along with the replacement check, keeping the extra money for himself.

The story states that the Idaho man started the scam off by cashing his stepdaughter’s disability check worth nearly $15,000. After reporting to the Social Security office that the check never arrived, a replacement check was issued. (He probably thought that was easy enough, so why not use that excuse again on a different check? I’ll just blame it on the mailman.)

The article goes on to say that the man then reported that his own Social Security disability checks were missing – twice. (Again, he had actually received the original checks and cashed them even though he claimed they never arrived.) Each time he made a false claim to the Social Security office, he walked away with a replacement check after agreeing not to cash the original check. (Did he think they wouldn’t track that both checks had been cashed?)

The 59-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement. (He signed a statement under penalty of perjury that his missing check claims were true.) He is facing up to five years in prison and has agreed to pay back $13,004 to the Social Security Administration.

Lying always catches up with you in the end. Let’s hope that the justice system will replace this criminal’s illegal actions with an appropriate punishment.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Kuna Ma Pleads guilty to Social Security Fraud,” written by John Sowell and published in the Idaho Statesman on February 17, 2015.

Del Eugene Weech, 59, reported he did not receive several Social Security disability checks but ended up cashing those checks and replacement checks issued to him.

Back in February 2013, the Social Security Administration sent a check for $14,929 to Weech’s stepdaughter, who also receives federal disability checks. Weech cashed the check, then went to a Social Security office and claimed the check was never received. A replacement check was issued.

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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.