I’m sure we’ve all had negative experiences with the job search process. Good resumes aren’t the only qualifier for many jobs—employers want more. Once we find a job, we essentially spend our time trying to keep it until we move to the next one or are able to retire. For some, retirement is great; for others, the job market calls them back. According to an article in the Portland Press Herald, one man found his way out of retirement and back into the job market, making sure to keep his pension benefits with him.
While our economy is nowhere near a great depression, it has impacted people differently. For example, some retirees find that their pension benefits are not sufficient to meet their needs and are forced to return to searching for a job. (They better bring a good resume, a clean suit and every other unthinkable skill with them – it’s a tough market for job hunting.) For one Maine resident, this led to his decision to steal more than $83,000 in federal pension funds by continuing to receive retirement payments after he had returned to work. (With numerous baby boomers retiring and then reentering the workforce, this comes as no surprise.) Was this just a simple error or a fraudulent scheme aimed to cash in on benefits intended to help individuals actually in need?
An investigation dug deep to recover what was confirmed as a fraudulent scam. The authorities say that the fraudster began retirement in 2004, after leaving a local railway company. In 2007, he returned to work for a different railway company, where he used another individual’s personal identification information for his time cards. (Ah, the old switcheroo. I see what he did here.) Between 2007 and 2010, the man continued working for the railway company, while collecting nearly $83,000 in pension benefits. (Just a thought – was the person whose identity he used at his new job deceased or alive? That could really make things interesting.) The judge warned that he faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
As a fraudster, you think it’s just another day on the job until the federal government comes knocking on your door to arrest you. Most hardworking citizens don’t worry too much about it. Beware fraudsters – you may think retirement is golf clubs and cigars, but in jail they don’t readily hand out the finer things in life.