It’s easy to get things in “twos” – a table for two, a bottle of wine for two and even fraud for two. While it’s probably better to share a bottle of wine, after a short wait for a table for two, one couple chose to share something a little more personal: a Social Security number (SSN). According to an article on Myrtle Beach Online, the couple’s inclination to share will likely result in a double sentence.
So, here’s what happened: a South Carolina woman let her husband use her SSN for work, so he continued to collect workers’ compensation benefits. (They won’t find out if you keep it a secret between you two!) Court documents indicate that in July 1992, the husband began receiving Social Security disability benefits for a back injury, as well as Ohio workers compensation benefits. So where did things go wrong?
A 2011 Social Security Administration (SSA) investigation determined that the man – who had been receiving benefits since 1992 for his back injury – had worked many jobs since 2001, and was compensated for those jobs while receiving aid. (Why don’t people get it? When you claim you can’t work and file for benefits, you have to disclose any new income. And yes, you probably won’t qualify for the benefits if you are working – especially if you are getting the benefits because you say you can’t work.) The investigator discovered the man had been using his wife’s SSN for all of his employers so he could collect payment without the SSA noticing. (How did that work out?) The couple received $155,618 from the SSA and $143,202 from Ohio Workers’ Compensation since 1992. The couple faces up to 10 years max in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This is a case where good things don’t come in twos – unless you count catching two fraudsters for the price of one. Two high fives to the SSA for its hard work in bringing down double the trouble.