Bad Apple in the Big Apple

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As reported in the New York Daily News, today’s tale is of a New Yorker who admitted to a long-term fraud against the Social Security Administration (SSA) over disability benefits.

The New Yorker retired because of a shoulder injury after a 12-year career, but then spent the next 22 years claiming to be unable to work despite holding down several jobs, including one as a commercial truck driver (bet that’s hard to do with a real shoulder injury.) Throughout that time, he failed to report employment that would have rendered him ineligible to continue receiving benefits. In all, he collected more than $600,000 based on fraudulent claims.

When the SSA decided to run a check on his eligibility for benefits, their investigation uncovered that the former New Yorker’s application was supported by faulty evidence which was provided by a physician who had been discredited. Confronted in a hearing about his need for the benefits, the fraudster asked for the payments to stop.

After pleading guilty to one count of theft of government funds, the 54-year-old New Yorker could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. He also owes $622,843 in restitution and forfeiture payments.

Cases like this one are always assured of making the news. Let’s hope that this bad apple has learned his lesson and will prevent others from causing this kind of wreck in the future.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Ex-NYPD sergeant pleads guilty to stealing over $600G in disability benefits,” published by the New York Daily News on June 9, 2016.

An ex-NYPD sergeant pleaded guilty to pocketing more than $600,000 in disability benefits he didn’t deserve, officials said.

Thomas Shea, who was with the NYPD from 1981 to 1993, retired because of a shoulder injury and started receiving Social Security Administration disability benefits shortly thereafter.

These benefits are only for people who can’t work because of their disability — but Shea, 56, “was gainfully employed in a number of positions that he knowingly failed to report to the SSA,” such as working as a commercial truck driver, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s office said.

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Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.