Adding Insult to Injury

5

Things can always go from bad to worse. An article published in the Telegram & Gazette confirms this idiom by telling the story of a Worcester woman accused of stealing the identity of her boyfriend’s ex-wife and fraudulently using it to obtain disability benefits. (Talk about adding insult to injury. I bet the ex-wife was furious.)

The story states that the 52-year-old girlfriend purportedly used the name, Social Security number and date of birth of her boyfriend’s former wife to file fake documents and collect more than $50,000 in government benefits over a three-and-a-half year period. (This happens all the time: check out IdentityGov.com to learn more.)

Through the assumed identity, she allegedly also was able to get a job at a local supermarket, obtain a driver’s license, passport and a replacement Social Security card. The article says that she allegedly filed for Title II benefits under the ex-wife’s identity, which qualified her for disabled or retirement benefits. Supposedly, she filed the benefit paperwork under the stolen name, but used her true address. (Perhaps this caused investigators to be suspicious.)

Court records show that the woman claimed she did not have a bank account, so she had the government benefits deposited in a checking account under her father’s name. The stolen woman’s name was later added to the account.

The woman pleaded not guilty to the charges of Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft fraud, but the article states she is expected to change her plea in an upcoming court date. (Obviously, this woman is innocent until proven guilty; however, I wonder what the sentence would be if the ex-wife could be the judge.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Worcester Woman Scheduled to Enter Plea in Identity Fraud Case,” written by Scott Croteau and published by the Telegram & Gazette on August 17, 2014.

WORCESTER — A Worcester woman accused of stealing someone’s identity and using it to receive more than $50,000 in government disability money is scheduled to enter pleas Tuesday in federal court.

Lydean Howe, 52, pleaded not guilty in September to charges of Social Security fraud and aggravated identity theft fraud, but paperwork filed in court shows a plea hearing is scheduled this 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.