Bad Apple in the Big Apple

67811331 - a typical american police car

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, 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.