Key Point: Another day, another federal guilty plea of a man convicted of stealing Social Security benefits.
According to a Department of Justice press release, a fifty-two-year-old Nevada man pled guilty to the charge of theft of government property. The Social Security Administration (SSA) had paid Social Security benefits to the man’s father until the father died in 2015.
The man, while he did report to SSA that his father had died, had continued to collect the payments, in a joint bank account held by the two of them, for a nearly five-year period.
The defendant, the announcement said, “maintained control of the joint account and regularly withdrew and stole the post-death Social Security payments—totaling approximately $90,000—for his own use.”
The man faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled for November.
The Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General handled the investigation.
This is one of several recent reports of individuals being arrested, prosecuted, or pleading guilty in cases related to Social Security fraud.
In Boston, a forty-six-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested and charged last week with Social Security Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. The man, who is accused of using another person’s information to apply for a driver’s license and passport, was charged with one count each of false representation of a Social Security number, making a false statement in an application for a passport and aggravated identity theft.
And in another case, also in the Boston area, a thirty-five-year-old Dominican national pled guilty to charges of false representation of a Social Security number and making a false statement relating to health care matters.
The man, according to a Justice Department press release, has admitted that he used the identity of someone else, a Puerto Rican citizen, to obtain a Massachusetts driver's license and ID card, and also collected $12,600 in federally funded MassHealth benefits over a five-year period, using the false identity. He faces up to five years in prison on the first charge and up to five years as well on the second.
These all follow reports in May of several others caught on Social Security fraud charges. A Maine woman pled guilty to such charges after prosecutors determined that she had “concealed the presence of her husband in her household to maintain her eligibility to receive benefit payments,” over the course of nine years, when government officials were given the impression that she was living alone at the time.
Also in the spring, a Chicago man pled guilty to the charge that he had taken part in a telemarketing scheme that involved falsely claiming to work for the Social Security Administration.
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.