August Sees a Wave of Social Security Related Convictions

August Sees a Wave of Social Security Related Convictions

The latest in indictments, prosecutions, and guilty pleas related to Social Security fraud and other Social Security-related crimes


Here is the latest in indictments, prosecutions, and guilty pleas related to Social Security fraud and other related crimes

In mid-August, a Nicaraguan citizen pleaded guilty and was sentenced to the charge of illegally using a Social Security number to gain employment. The crime, which technically entailed illegally using a Social Security number to enroll in a safety class required for employment, was a violation of Title 42 United States Code, Section 408(a)(7)(B), the Department of Justice said. 


Per the statement, the man “falsely represented that a social security number was assigned to him when in fact, the social security number had been assigned by the Commissioner of Social Security to another individual.” The man was sentenced to time served and one year of supervised release.

The same week, per the Center Square, a Pennsylvania truck driver was indicted on charges of improperly collecting over $200,000 in Social Security disability benefits. The man was charged with eight counts of wire fraud and one count of Social Security fraud, due to the two-and-half years he spent collecting disability payments, despite passing a pair of Department of Transportation medical exams and continuing to work as a driver. 

The man “received Medical Examiners Certificates in 2016 and 2018 deeming him physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with the physical qualification standards, which allowed [him] to drive a commercial motor vehicle across State lines with no medical restrictions. In addition, [he] also concealed his employment as a commercial motor vehicle driver from SSA.”

Meanwhile, in Kansas, a man was convicted of wire fraud and theft of government funds, in a case investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of the Inspector General and the Social Security Administration (SSA) - Office of the Inspector General.

The man, a fifty-three-year-old Army veteran, “fraudulently misrepresented and exaggerated the extent of symptoms related to a purported conversion disorder diagnosis to receive VA disability benefits to which he was not entitled,” the SSA Office of Inspector General’s announcement said. 

“During VA examinations, he faked and exaggerated physical symptoms—displaying a significant limp, muscle spasms, head bobs, and jerking movements. Immediately before and after these examinations, he used a walker that he didn’t normally use outside of VA facilities. The VA found that [he] was 100% disabled based on those fraudulent misrepresentations,” the OIG said. 

However, the subsequent investigation indicated that the man had been faking the symptoms, and he had even, while allegedly disabled, “engaged in residential construction, threw hay bales on the back of moving trucks, hunted deer, drove regularly, and hauled more than a million pounds of scrap metal.”

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Image: Reuters.