Home Sweet Fraud

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Home ownership has long been part of the American Dream. But when someone opens the door to fraud, nightmares breeze right in. The Daily News of Newburyport recently reported that a New Hampshire woman, who owned multiple properties, has pleaded guilty to stealing federal and state welfare benefits.

According to the story, her crimes included submitting applications for Food Stamps, Medicaid and Social Security disability benefits that actively concealed two pieces of real estate that she owned. Her failure to list the properties effectively lowered the value of her assets to a level necessary to qualify for government assistance—assistance that she otherwise would not have qualified to receive. (”Actually, Officer, this is a friend’s mansion.”)

The false statements she made to the U.S. Social Security Administration and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services enabled her to illegally collect $62,425 in benefits. (Well, she had to pay her mortgages somehow!) They also landed her in federal court, following a joint federal-state investigation by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

After the woman pleaded guilty to one count of Social Security fraud and four counts of making false statements, a federal judge ordered her to pay back the federal and state government more than $62,000 in stolen benefits and sentenced her to three years of probation, followed by six months of house arrest. (But in which house?!) Hopefully, half a year of being confined to her home will help this woman appreciate all she has.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Seabrook woman sentenced for fraud,” written by Angeljean Chiaramida and published by The Daily News of Newburyport on January 26, 2016.

CONCORD, N.H. — A Seabrook woman was sentenced to three years’ probation in federal court on Friday, after defrauding the government of $62,425 in Social Security, Medicaid and Food Stamp benefits.

Beverly Eaton, 57, was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty in September to one count of Social Security fraud and four counts of making false statements, New Hampshire’s U.S. Attorney Emily Gray Rice announced recently. Eaton was sentenced to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement.

She was also ordered to pay $51,189.70 in restitution to the Social Security Administration and $11,235.36 to the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services.

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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.