The relationship between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law can be prickly. When they don’t get along, family relationships across the board can be affected. If the mother-in-law of today’s fraudster was still living, my guess is that their relationship would probably not be so good. If she knew that her daughter-in-law had committed Social Security fraud by collecting her benefits for around 12 years after her death, I imagine things would be a bit tense at family gatherings.
The Delaware woman apparently had a joint checking account with her mother-in-law, which leads you to believe that the daughter-in-law was a trusted family member. However, when the mother-in-law died in 2006, the now 63-year-old woman from Smyrna neglected to inform the Social Security Agency (SSA) of her death. (Meanwhile the monthly $1,100 checks continued to be deposited into the joint checking account.)
On two occasions, in 2013 and 2018, the SSA contacted the daughter-in-law, who pretended to be her mother-in-law, so the SSA benefit deposits would continue. Again, she lied to agency officials and did not tell them that the mother-in-law had died. (By doing so, she racked up more than $175,000 in Social Security benefits she did not deserve.)
Today’s fraudster from Smyrna, Delaware was sentenced to 18 months in prison for committing Social Security fraud of more than $175,000. This conviction brings the idea of trouble with the in-laws to a whole new level. (It’s probably a good thing that her mother-in-law is not around to see the fallout of her daughter-in-law’s illegal actions. Once she gets out of prison, family relationships may be difficult.)
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, “Smyrna woman sentenced to prison for decade-long Social Security fraud,” published by Delaware State News on September 19, 2019.
WILMINGTON — A 63-year-old Smyrna woman was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in prison for defrauding the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) of more than $175,000.
According to court documents, Deborah Vaughn spent more than a decade collecting fraudulent Social Security funds intended for her deceased mother-in-law.