The owner of an insurance agency in the Boston area has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison after he was convicted of stealing disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Patrick J. Quinn was convicted of the charges back in April.
“While the Government recognizes that the Defendant honorably served this country and suffers from numerous health ailments, he still needs to be held accountable for his choices,” prosecutor Mackenzie Duane said in a sentencing memo, per the Herald. “There is also no dispute that the Defendant’s PTSD did not preclude him from working as he managed and operated a prosperous insurance company.”
The Department of Justice said after the trial that Quinn unlawfully obtained $420,000 in veteran and Social Security benefits, “by falsely telling the VA and SSA that he was unable to work due to a disability, when in reality, he owned and operated Quinn Insurance Group, Inc.”
A Marine Corps veteran who claimed that PTSD prevented him from being able to work, he nevertheless collected the benefits while running a successful company. He also continually told the government that he was still entitled to the benefits.
In another recent case, a forty-five-year-old West Virginia woman was ordered to pay $84,509 in restitution and received five years of probation after being convicted of stealing government benefits.
The woman, the U.S. attorney for West Virginia said, “received $84,509 in Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits on behalf of a deceased relative. [She] admitted that she did not have a legal right to these benefits once her relative died in April 2012. [She] further admitted that she converted the funds to her own use, and that she knew her conduct in taking those benefits was wrong.”
Finally, last month a California man was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay $696,912 in restitution for conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California said.
“[He] conspired with a former Social Security Administration (SSA) employee and others to use personally identifiable information stolen from SSA records to commit identity theft against beneficiaries to obtain their funds. This was an egregious crime, and his role was unconscionable,” Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for SSA, said in the government’s statement.
“This sentence holds him accountable for his actions and for restitution to those harmed. We will continue to protect the integrity of SSA programs from those who seek to defraud taxpayers. I thank the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General and the FBI for their valuable assistance in this investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”
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.