What’s in a name? For some, jail time.

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The Republican via MassLive.com reports on a particularly strange web of lies woven by a Massachusetts man during his plot to steal more than $100,000 worth of social services from the state and federal government. Prosecutors allege that the man used a stolen social security number and the associated name to apply for government subsidies related to unemployment, Social Security and the MassHealth Personal Care Attendant Program.

But here’s where it gets weird: After the Massachusetts man began collecting benefits under a stolen alias, he circled back to MassHealth and listed himself—by his real name—as the personal attendant to his new, fraudulent identity. (A fresh identity AND a nurse/personal assistant? Talk about a life makeover!) It remains unclear why exactly that contract was terminated (beyond the obvious reasons), but it was, and his reaction was to disregard this sign of impending exposure and find another way to fraud. Soon after he applied for unemployment compensation using his real name, the authorities closed in on the man and he was brought before a federal judge.

Ultimately, this naughty ”nurse” admitted to pilfering welfare benefits under a stolen identity and pleaded guilty to three counts of falsely using a social security number. He was subsequently sentenced to two years in prison, followed by three years of probation, and ordered to pay $76,288 in restitution to the U.S. Social Security Administration, along with an additional $83,865 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services and $20,573 to the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance.

Using a stolen identity to commit welfare fraud is doubly despicable. (Those of you who have ever been victimized by identity theft know how insufferable it is to untangle yourself from such a mess.) We can only hope that he spends his two years behind bars wisely, and truly considers the far-reaching effects of his behavior.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on, ”Holyoke man who hired himself as his own personal care attendant sentenced to 2 years for defrauding Social Security, MassHealth,” written by Patrick Johnson and published by The Republican via MassLive.com on February 5, 2016.

SPRINGFIELD – A Holyoke man was sentenced on Friday to two years in prison for fraud after he admitted to using a fake name to receive $108,000 in Social Security and MassHealth benefits.

Eddie Saez was also sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni to three years probation after his release, and to pay restitution in the amount of $76,288 to the U.S. Social Security Administration, $83,865 to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and $20,573 to the state Department of Unemployment Assistance.

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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.