The idea of karma is a beautiful thing: violence begets violence, what goes around comes around. It’s comforting to know that maybe, just maybe, what you do earlier in life will contribute to your happiness (or unhappiness) later in life. Luckily for taxpayers, karma is giving one Connecticut man quite the wake-up call. According to the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, the man received $111,067 in Social Security disability payments while he continued to work and earn income with a different Social Security number he fraudulently received. He also received $53,035 in disability payments for his wife and four kids.
Including the $33,556.90 in duplicate Social Security retirement benefits, this guy pleaded pleading guilty to stealing almost $200,000 in benefits. (And he’s pleading that it all falls under one count of theft. Veeeery clever my friend.)
The man has a scheduled sentencing for October 3, during which he will face a maximum imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000. He will also be ordered to make full restitution. Currently, he’s repaid $33,692.47 of the $197,658.90 he owes. (Only $163,966.43 to go!) Best of luck collecting the rest.
So, how could this fraud have been prevented? By leveraging identity-based filters. He used multiple Social Security numbers for work, for benefits and even collecting for his wife and kids. That’s a lot of identities, and a lot of potential red flags for fraud.
Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on the article titled, ”Connecticut Man Admits Theft of Nearly $200,000 in Social Security Benefits,” published by the Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration on June 29, 2012.
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ALFREDO MARTINEZ, 69, of Waterbury, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty yesterday before United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to one count of theft of government property stemming from his theft of nearly $200,000 in Social Security benefits.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from January 1996 through May 2008, MARTINEZ received $111,067 in Social Security disability payments while he continued to work and earn income using another social security number he fraudulently received. During that time, MARTINEZ also received $53,035 in disability payments for his wife and four children. From June 2008 through June 2011, MARTINEZ received $33,556.90 in duplicate Social Security retirement benefits under both social security numbers.