Permanent Disability – The Language is Clear

Student Loan Application form with glasses and ballpoint pen

A nurse practitioner has been arrested in connection with a scheme that allegedly involved profiting off of student loans, according to the U.S  Department of Justice (DOJ).

Catherine Seemer, NP, age 42, of Elmsford, New York, allegedly secured more than $10 million in student loans for patients from the federal Total and Permanent Disability Discharge Program by falsifying the disabilities of more than 100 borrowers, DOJ said.

According to DOJ, Seemer deceived borrowers into believing they qualified for various forms of student loan relief and charged them fees — often between 10% and 20% of the loan amount — to facilitate the loan discharge process. Borrowers were unaware that the applications for discharging their loans relied on them being permanently disabled. When questioned by applicants, she convinced them that language in the application such as “you” and “your” could refer to a family member but “they don’t broadcast (that) to everyone.”  Pronouns and personal identity is confusing. But the Permanent Disability Discharge application is very clear — “You” are “you.”

Seemer falsified the disabilities and medical diagnoses by using stolen identities, medical license numbers, and forged signatures of more than a dozen doctors, DOJ alleged. None of the dozen doctors who were used to provide the diagnoses had ever met any of the borrowers. One of the doctors was used for about 70 of the applications.

DOJ estimated Seemer pulled in about $1 USD million for herself over the course of the scheme, which ran from June 2017 through March 2022.

Special shout out to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Education for working together to stop Seemer from filing more fraud.

Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article, posted by Yonkers Times, on June 18, 2022



Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Terry Harris, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Eastern Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Inspector General (“ED-OIG”), announced today the unsealing of a criminal complaint charging CATHERINE SEEMER with wire fraud, federal financial aid fraud, and aggravated identity theft in connection with a scheme that resulted in the fraudulent discharge of over $10.5 million worth of student loans on the basis of falsified medical certifications of permanent disabilities.  SEEMER was arrested this morning and will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew E. Krause.

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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.