There is nothing like earning a paycheck for a good hard day’s work. The feeling of accomplishment and self satisfaction warms the soul, as the benefits – whether monetary or not – roll in. While we may sit and revel in our accomplishment, we know we deserve what we earned. On the flip side, the idea of “deserving what we earn” may not be so pleasant for some individuals – especially those who commit fraud. Today’s Fraud of the Day from KSDK.com highlights the case of one fraudster who earned a little extra something he didn’t want – punishment by the federal government.
The article reports that a former Social Security Administration (SSA) lawyer (Insider!) recently pleaded guilty to two felony counts of theft of government property. The investigation found that the defendant claimed a disability based on vision impairment circa 1993 and began receiving disability payments. Okay, so far so good. A condition of receiving the benefit was to “Report all income made.” Investigators further found that the defendant failed to report income during 2003 and 2010. (Yeah…that’s the kind of thing that can get someone into trouble).
So, what was he doing? The answer to that question was easily found in his job application to the SSA. In applying to the agency for a job as an attorney, he indicated that he had worked a sole practitioner for about 20 hours per week. Ultimately, SSA discovered that in those years he did not report income earned to the appropriate disability officials (So, he basically admitted to fraud in his job application to the agency he was defrauding. Didn’t think that one through, did he?)
Think of the effort this man must have put in to earn his law degree, his job with SSA and now his future punishment. I’d be willingly to bet a jail stint wasn’t part of the law degree plans! But, you get what you earn – even if it is trouble.