The Heat is On

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39203350 - filing taxes online using a computer and being audited

The heat is on when it comes to tracking down and prosecuting fraudsters who attempt to illegally gain benefits they don’t deserve. A story posted on 13NewsNow.com tells about a man who received more than $2,000 in benefits from three different government subsidized programs.

The article states that the man received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funds after declaring that his income was only $100 per week. He also received Medicaid funds as his grandfather’s caretaker. Lastly, he applied for and received payment for fuel assistance. (Virginia’s Energy Assistance program helps eligible people with a low-income cover expenses associated with heating or cooling their home.)

After a worker who determines welfare eligibility became suspicious of the man’s actual income and contacted the commonwealth’s Social Services department, an investigation revealed that he received $2,206.48 in government benefits that he did not deserve. (This guy didn’t think about the cold and hungry victims he left behind.)

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to welfare fraud. His defense attorney requested that he remain free on bond so that he could earn money to pay restitution to the programs from which he stole funds. (Because the man declared that his income was variable due to his profession as a barber, the judge agreed to let him remain on bond.)

This case serves as a deterrent for those unscrupulous individuals who are considering stealing from others to enrich their own lives through government benefits they do not qualify for or deserve. (No amount of money taken for fraudulent purposes is too small for the government to pursue because when the money pot runs out, there is no more financial assistance available. Every little bit counts when someone is in need.) It will be up to the judge to determine if this man should be deprived as he has deprived others.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Eastern Shore Man Pleads Guilty to Welfare Fraud,” written by Nancy Drury Duncan and posted on 13NewsNow.com on August 18, 2015.

ACCOMACK Co., Va. (WVEC) — A Melfa man is free on bond after pleading guilty to welfare fraud.

Fontae Ayers, 35, applied for SNAP benefits, formerly called “food stamps,” saying his income was only $100 a week.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.