Do you remember getting in trouble as a child? That moment where you knew your future was bleak; a “time out” or “grounding” was in your cards and there was no avoiding it.  Do you remember the realization that if only you could keep whatever it was you did away from your parents, all would be ok? Today’s Fraud of the Day from the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General highlights the case of a Connecticut man whose decades-long fraud involved cashing in on his deceased father – it may be for the best that his father isn’t around to hear about it.

The article reported that the defendant’s father died in 1982, and the defendant was aware of this fact.  Even so, the defendant failed to notify the Social Security Administration of the news and decided to collect a few payments.  From 1982 – 2011, the defendant stole $307,925 by collecting his deceased father’s Social Security benefits.  (What would Dad say?)   Investigators even discovered an address request change from March 1997, asking any future benefits to be forwarded to it.  (Where? The cemetery? Just leave them on the headstone please; they may take a while to deposit.)  

The man was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and payment of full restitution.  At this point, officials say he has paid $38,000 of that restitution.

Looking at the facts, we see a fraudster responsible for a 30 year scam.  We must ask ourselves the question:  “How many others are out there?”  As for the fraudster, my only question is:  “What would your father think?”

  1. Did he bury “dear dead dad” in the backyard? Cremate him in the fireplace? Aren’t funeral parlors required to report deaths to Social Security?

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