Boiling a Frog

18

When tempted by money, people often find themselves acting in ways that are contrary to their belief system. At first, they may convince themselves that they’ll only indulge just a little because after all, they deserve it and no one will notice or be harmed by the action. Later, as they are immersed in their illegal actions, they often find out too late that they are in trouble with the law. Today ‘s fraudster began indulging in the fraudulent receipt of government benefits more than two decades ago, and eventually defrauded two agencies out of more than $230,000 he didn’t deserve.

The ruse began when the man at the center of today ‘s case filed for Social Security disability benefits, claiming he was unable to work, although he was working ,for himself. He operated a handyman service while receiving the undeserved benefits. He completed home repairs including trim work, building and repairing fences and other home improvements. He even boasted that he had earned millions of dollars running his company. (Perhaps he realizes now that it was not such a good idea to publicly reveal that tidbit.)

The man admitted that he lied to investigators about his ability to work because he knew he would be disqualified from receiving government benefits if his scam was revealed. (He received more than $155,316 from the Social Security Administration and more than $81,365 from Medicare.) The 57-year-old man was eventually convicted and sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his illegal actions.

This criminal began his scam in 1995 and kept it a secret for about 20 years. Perhaps he jumped into the fraud scheme not thinking it would grow to the magnitude it did. This man ‘s story can be compared to that of a frog, who jumps into a pan of warm water and doesn’t sense the heat being turned up. The frog is eventually cooked because it doesn’t perceive the danger. Similarly, this man got himself into some hot water by facilitating this long-term scam. When the government turned the heat up, it was too late, and now he ‘s headed to prison.

Source: Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Man convicted of scamming Social Security, Medicare sentenced,” posted on news4jax.com on February 15, 2017.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man convicted of stealing over $230,000 from government agencies received his sentence on Tuesday, the Department of Justice said.

U.S. District Judge Brian Davis sentenced Robert Lee Lanier, 57, of Jacksonville, to 18 months in federal prison for theft of more than $236,000 in government property. He pleaded guilty on Nov. 18, 2016.

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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.