Don’t Tell Dad


Do you remember getting in trouble as a child? That moment where you knew your future was bleak; a ”time out” or ”grounding” was in your cards and there was no avoiding it. Do you remember the realization that if only you could keep whatever it was you did away from your parents, all would be ok? Today’s Fraud of the Day from the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General highlights the case of a Connecticut man whose decades-long fraud involved cashing in on his deceased father – it may be for the best that his father isn’t around to hear about it.

The article reported that the defendant’s father died in 1982, and the defendant was aware of this fact. Even so, the defendant failed to notify the Social Security Administration of the news and decided to collect a few payments. From 1982 – 2011, the defendant stole $307,925 by collecting his deceased father’s Social Security benefits. (What would Dad say?? Investigators even discovered an address request change from March 1997, asking any future benefits to be forwarded to it. (Where? The cemetery? Just leave them on the headstone please; they may take a while to deposit.?

The man was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and payment of full restitution. At this point, officials say he has paid $38,000 of that restitution.

Looking at the facts, we see a fraudster responsible for a 30 year scam. We must ask ourselves the question? ”How many others are out there?’? As for the fraudster, my only question is? ”What would your father think?”

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, ”Connecticut Man Sentenced for Stealing $300,000 of Deceased Father’s Social Security Benefits,” published by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General on September 20, 2012.

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JAMES BRIGGS, JR., 68, of Fairfield, was sentenced today by Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for stealing more than $300,000 in Social Security benefit payments that were made to his deceased father. BRIGGS also was ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.

According to court documents and statements made in court, BRIGGS’ father, James Briggs, Sr., began receiving monthly Social Security Retirement Insurance benefits in 1974. On August 20, 1982, James Briggs, Sr. died. From the time of his father’s death until August 2011, BRIGGS continued to receive, and use, the monthly Social Security benefit payments intended for his father. Also, in March 1997, BRIGGS contacted the Social Security Administration and requested a change of address to which any future correspondence regarding his father’s Social Security benefits would be sent.

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Larry Benson
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.