Sharing is Caring

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36419114 - hand about to bang gavel on sounding block in the court room

Growing up, you are taught to share. While sharing isn’t always easy, it has been stated that? ”sharing is caring.’? But how do fraudsters feel about it? Clearly they aren’t ”sharing” wealth with the government when they are stealing from taxpayer-funded programs. What about fraudsters working in a team? According to an article in All Alabama, one couple shared their job, wealth, fraud and punishment.

A judge sentenced an Alabama man to probation after finding him guilty in his involvement with Social Security fraud. Shortly following the sentence, the man’s wife came forward with more information and admitted to participating in the scheme. (I vow to fraud with you, admit to guilt with you and serve probation with you.)

Social Security benefits were created to provide individuals with financial assistance for retirement, or if a person becomes disabled and cannot earn the money needed to survive. And, like all government services and benefits, beneficiaries must satisfy key criteria to be eligible. So, where did the husband and wife team fall short?

The husband, an employee at an Alabama county jail, earned too much money to qualify for full Social Security benefits in the year 2009. Aware of this situation, the husband attempted to attribute some of his earnings to his wife, hoping the government would recognize him as ”qualified” for the assistance. (He redefined the definition of ”qualified” to include lying to satisfy the eligibility criteria.)Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Washington County Woman Admits Helping Husband Participate in Social Security Fraud,” written by Brendan Kirby and published by the All Alabama on July 16, 2013.

MOBILE, Alabama – A day after a federal judge sentenced her husband to probation for stealing Social Security funds, a Washington County woman today admitted that she participated in the fraud.

Marilyn Gardner pleaded guilty to theft of government money, and U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade set an Oct. 30 sentencing date. Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a lenient sentence, which seems likely to be probation.

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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.