Many things in life require a long-term commitment; for example, let’s say you have a particular interest in collecting restored cars.  Unless you are rolling in money, it would be a little difficult to arrive at an auction and purchase 10 restored beauties in one day.  Rather, your collection would build up through a series of auctions and deals over time.  According to a article, the same policy applies to fraud – the best collections build over a period of time, that is, until the feds come crashing through your door.

A Mainer found himself in some wicked trouble as his Social Security fraud of nearly 15 years came to a crashing halt.  His plan targeted the Social Security Administration (SSA), where he provided false information to receive benefits. (You always have to start somewhere – perhaps with an old Mustang or Camaro, or even a lie to the Feds.)  Evidence collected from an investigation revealed that the man collected near $90,000 in fraudulent benefits over a period of 15 years, bringing him to nearly two decades of fraudulent reign.

Prosecutors asserted that the man falsely claimed he was living alone.  In reality, he was living with his wife, who was receiving income that would have disqualified him from receiving Supplemental Security Income. (This is like having no money to buy a car, but lying and buying it anyway.  You’re bound to find trouble down the road.)After reviewing the evidence in the case, the judge sentenced the man to two years and three months in prison and ordered him to pay nearly $20,000 in restitution. (That’s not even ¼ of the $90,000 he collected!)

Perhaps its common sense, but I’d be willing to bet that collecting cars is a better alternative to fostering a long-term commitment with fraud.  Cars bring about interesting conversation, unique aesthetics and a fun lifestyle.  Fraud brings you to jail.  You weigh the pros and cons.

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