The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) “Blue Book,” lists both physical and mental impairments that qualify an individual to receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). (There are actually 14 categories to qualify under, however deception is not considered to be one of them.) A Cedar Rapids, Iowa man committed Social Security disability fraud when he collected SSDI benefits while supposedly making money at another company by “loaning” his tools.

At the risk of getting caught up in technicalities, the Iowan did not consider “loaning” out his tools to be the same things as “working.” The bottom line is that he made money from the mutual agreement, but did not disclose that important fact to the SSA. (For nearly four years, the fraudster told the SSA that he was not able to work.) He collected $78,734 in Social Security disability benefits he did not deserve.

The Cedar Rapids man was not only “loaning” his tools to a company, he was also working for said company during that time. He went as far as to ask his employer to direct his wages to his wife so he would not lose the disability benefits. (Did the employer not ask any pointed questions here? It looks like the company had a part to play in this deceptive Social Security disability fraud scheme.)

The 58-year-old Cedar Rapids man who stole nearly $80,000 in Social Security disability benefits pleaded guilty to Social Security disability fraud and was sentenced to six months in federal prison without the chance of parole. He must also serve three years of supervised release following his prison term and pay $78,509.40 in restitution to the SSA. (Technically, you can assume that today’s fraudster has now disabled himself from receiving any disability payments from the SSA in the future.)

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on a Department of Justice press release, “Man Who Stole Nearly $80,000 in Social Security Disability Benefits Sentenced to Federal Prison,” released on June 10, 2019.

A man who stole $78,734 in Social Security disability benefits over a nearly four year period was sentenced today to six months in federal prison.  Larry Joe Hanson, Sr., age 58, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the prison term after an October 30, 2018 guilty plea to theft of government property.

According to a plea agreement and information disclosed at sentencing, Hanson received Social Security disability benefits from April 2013 through March 2017 because he told the Social Security Administration he was not able to work.  However, Hanson was working at a company in Cedar Rapids during this time.  Hanson lied and said all of the money he was making was from renting his tools to the company and not from working.  However, Hanson later asked his employer to put the wages he was making in his wife’s name because, according to Hanson, he wanted to work but could not get paid.  Between April 2013 and March 2017, Hanson received $78,734 in disability benefits to which he was not entitled.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.