Fraud is Ageless

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It seems that fraud is not just perpetrated by the young, but senior citizens have been known to get in on the criminal action as well. The Buffalo News covers an elderly woman who tried to scam the government by applying for Social Security benefits under false names, even though she was already legitimately collecting benefits through the program. (Evidently, she felt she was not getting enough money and needed to have more.)

The story states that the 79-year-old woman was twice widowed and already collecting Social Security death benefits after the death of both husbands. She applied for additional benefits under false names and even provided bogus identification documents, collecting more than $101,000 over a decade.

The senior citizen pleaded guilty to the theft of public money. She faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. (I’m guessing because of her age, she may not receive prison time.)

Usually, the news is full of stories about fraud committed against senior citizens, not the other way around. It just goes to prove that fraud has no bounds as to who commits the crime, nor against whom the crime is committed. No one is safe.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled ”Buffalo Woman Pleads Guilty to Social Security Fraud” published in The Buffalo News on June 19, 2014.

A 79-year-old Buffalo widow, though legitimately getting Social Security death benefits after the deaths of her two husbands, pleaded guilty Thursday to using false names and identification documents to defraud the system out of an additional $101,150.95 for over a decade.

Bernice Robinson pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio to the theft of public money, a charge for which she could get a prison term of up to ten years and a fine of up to $250,000 when her sentencing is scheduled later this year. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen A. Lynch said Robinson’s fraud dated from October 1998 through April 2011 when Social Security Administration agents finally established her criminal activity.

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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.