Sorry Doesn’t Cut It

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24914276 - man putting money in suit jacket pocket concept for corruption, bribing, paying or business wealth

You’ve heard it in countless country songs, movies and maybe even your own life? ”Sorry doesn’t cut it.” So why is it that people think they can get away with a simple ”sorry,” no matter how heartfelt? According to a Newsday article, one Long Island Councilman found himself apologizing to keep himself out of jail, but did the judge give in?

The New York Department of Labor provides eligible state residents with unemployment benefits. (Can I emphasize on the word ”eligible?”) Eligibility is defined by the department as? ”Workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, but are ready, willing and able to work.’? So how is it that a former councilman of Long Beach City applied for and received unemployment benefits during the time he was employed and receiving a salary of $19,828? The fraudster commented on his case, explaining? ”This is a case that was about miscalculation.’? Really?

An Assistant District Attorney explained? ”This is a case in which the defendant…knowingly and intentionally falsely reported on unemployment for nine months.’? The case stemmed from the councilman’s collection of more than $15,000 during his employment. The fraudster’s attorney described him as ”a guy who tried to do good and made an incredible misjudgment.’? The councilman was convicted of one count petty larceny and 18 felony counts of offering a false instrument for filing. The judge did not let him off with a warning for a simple apology. Rather, he was sentenced to 30 days in jail, eight years (three years for petty larceny and five years for his 18 felony counts) of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $15,783.75 to the state Department of Labor.

The tough sentences keep rolling in? Whether you are a public figure or a citizen, defrauding the government is just plain illegal. This is a great example of a judge sentencing a criminal for the facts presented against the defendant in the case of the fraud, regardless of apology or public position.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Michael Fagen, ex-Long Beach Councilman, Gets 30-Day Sentence,” written by Aisha Al-Muslim and published by Newsday on June 12, 2013.

Former Long Beach City Councilman Michael Fagen was taken away in handcuffs yesterday after he was sentenced to 30 days in jail in a larceny case.

Fagen, who had faced up to four years in prison, appeared in Nassau County Court in Mineola for sentencing before Justice Meryl Berkowitz. He will serve his jail sentence in the Nassau County Correctional Center.

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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.