Supplementing Fraud

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Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are intended to help eligible disadvantaged people who have little or no income meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. An article published by The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier details how an Iowa woman lied about her living arrangements in order to collect more than $68,000 in SSI benefits.

Living arrangements are an important component of figuring out how much SSI an eligible person can receive. (For instance, you would receive less SSI benefits if you lived in someone else’s home and did not pay your fair share of expenses.) The story states that the woman in this case declared she and her husband were separated and she did not live with him. (This entitled her to receive more SSI benefits than she should have. In reality, she lived with her husband for more than 11 years while collecting $68,471 in SSI benefits she did not deserve.)

The woman actually hid the fact that she was living with her husband on three occasions to administration officials. As a result, her husband’s income was not figured into the calculation for her Social Security eligibility. The fraudster’s scheme was revealed when a tip regarding her living arrangements was made to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

The 49-year-old Iowan pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security Fraud. She is facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

We don’t know what the final sentence will be, but it looks like the fraudster may actually end up being separated from her husband in the end. (However, the legitimate separation won’t earn her any additional income if she is behind bars.) It is definitely not the government’s mission to provide supplemental income to those who do not deserve or qualify for it.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled ”Aplington Woman Pleads to Social Security Fraud” published by The Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier on July 6, 2015.

APLINGTON | An Aplington woman has admitted she mislead officials in order to receive additional Social Security benefits.

Angela Carmichael, 49, pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security fraud Thursday on U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.

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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.