’Till Death Do Us Fraud

Social Security Cards for identification and retirement USA

Marcus C. Williams of Campbell, Ohio pleaded guilty to theft of government property after fraudulently receiving Retirement Insurance Benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) on behalf of his grandfather. Williams was sentenced to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $172,943 to the SSA. (Stealing from the elderly? Classy.)

Despite Williams’ responsibility as representative payee for his grandfather, he did not report his death, and continued to receive his elder’s benefits. (It just feels wrong to use your grandfather’s death for your own gain.)

As the representative payee, Williams was required to ensure the SSA Retirement Insurance Benefits were used for his grandfather’s benefit while living. (When you’re trusted with a loved one’s money, you should never try and take advantage of your relative or the system that supports them.)

Perhaps Williams didn’t think anyone was checking so from May 2008 to October 2019, Williams falsely claimed that his grandfather was still alive so that he could use the benefits for his own personal use. The stolen Retirement Insurance Benefits totaled $172,943. (It would be interesting to know what he spent those government funds on. He won’t be taking any of it with him to prison, that’s for sure.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the Department of Justice press release, “Mahoning County Man Sentenced to Prison for Stealing More Than $172k in Retirement Insurance Benefits from the Social Security Administration,” dated March 24, 2022.

Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that Marcus C. Williams, 52, of Campbell, Ohio, was sentenced on Thursday, March 24, 2022, by U.S. District Judge  Christopher A. Boyko to 15 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $172,943 in restitution to the Social Security Administration (SSA) after Williams pleaded guilty to theft of government property.

“Stealing funds intended for a legitimate Social Security dependent is a guaranteed way to face prosecution and potential time in prison,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler.  “Stealing Social security funds is not a victimless crime and has real consequences.”


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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.