Family Isn’t Always Forever

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Thief holding a social security card.

Donald Glenn Connor of Fort Dodge, Iowa was sentenced to ten months in prison after stealing more than $15,000 in Social Security benefits. He pleaded guilty in February to one count of representative payee fraud.

Connor applied to become the representative payee, someone the Social Security Administration (SSA) allows to manage Social Security funds for those unable to manage it themselves, for a relative who had been diagnosed with severe mental impairment and other physical health issues. (Taking advantage of a relative’s health issues. Classy.) 

In May 2019, Connor admitted his relative to a local nursing home, where he indicated to the home that she was covered by Medicaid, despite this not being the case. He used his relative’s Social Security benefits to fund trips to the local casino, the grocery store, video games, subscription services, and other expenditures. (It looks like the only trip he’ll be taking now is to prison.)

In March 2020, the nursing home began asking Connor questions about the use of the Social Security benefits, prompting him to remove his relative from the home against a doctor’s medical advice. This left Connor with an unpaid nursing home bill of over $50,000. (I wonder what he did with his relative?)

In addition, the investigation revealed he had falsely underreported his household income and received an overpayment of Section 8 federal housing benefits. (It should be no surprise that social security fraud wasn’t his only crime.) 

Connor was sentenced in Sioux City by the United States District Court. He will be serving his ten-month prison term, as well as a two-year term supervised release and must pay $15,499 in restitution. (What a mess. Here’s hoping the relative he scammed is o.k.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the article, “Iowa man sentenced for stealing more than $15,000 in benefits from disabled relative,” published by Siouxland Proud on February 24, 2022.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (KCAU) — A man who stole more than $15,000 in Social Security benefits has been sentenced to federal prison.

Donald Glenn Conner, also known as Donald Luevanos, 38, of Fort Dodge was sentenced on Wednesday to ten months in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of representative payee fraud.

 

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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.