Concrete Confessions

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Do you like the expression? ”It’s set in stone”? It is great to use when talking about sentencing fraudsters. It is music to my ears to hear: ”The sentencing for [said] fraud is set in stone.’? According to an Amarillo Globe-News article, one fraudster took the expression in a literal sense, setting his disability scam in stone through the concrete company that employed him.

Pouring concrete is a labor intensive job; it’s not recommended for those who are collecting disability benefits due to injuries that impair them from working. (Wait, you’re forgetting a small detail! It’s doesn’t matter if you are a fraudster.) A Texas man collected more than $42,000 in Social Security payments after citing a disability that impeded his capabilities to work. When approached by his sister-in-law, a co-owner of a concrete mixing business, to work for the company the fraudster agreed to the offer. (Great, now drop the disability and you’re legally earning money.) Knowing the risk of losing his disability payments, the fraudster and his equivalently fraudulent sister-in-law and wife devised a plan to snake the government of benefits he would no longer be eligible to receive.

An investigation revealed the fraudster received $1,684 per month in disability benefits following his application in 2006. Enjoying a nice cushion of free money in addition to his salary, the man mixed up (concrete pun intended) a scheme involving his sister-in-law and allegedly his wife, both targeted for aiding and abetting fraud. Cognizant of losing the benefits, the three decided to make payments for his labor in the name of his wife, so the government could not track his income. (Genius; no one in the entire world has EVER thought of this plan. The government would NEVER catch on.) The sister-in-law admitted in court to issuing checks in the wife’s name, explaining it was done to avoid any tracking of the man’s income. The wife faces charges, and is innocent until proven guilty. While the two convicted fraudsters have not been sentenced yet, their convictions are set in stone.

Is it inappropriate to say the man acted dumb as a rock? Just a little concrete humor. He may be a little sick of concrete following his sentencing. If this man goes to jail, he will have a solid reminder of what put him there in the first place.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Man Pleads Guilty in Social Security Fraud Case,” written by Jim McBride and published by Armadillo Globe-News on May 3, 2013.

An area man has pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge for illegally receiving more than $42,000 in Social Security payments.

Belinda Kirby, co-owner of a Dimmitt concrete business, pleaded guilty last month to a charge of theft from the government, aiding and abetting, in the case.

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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.