Used Fraud Salesman

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Although it is a normal emotion, anxiety can cause people to experience some pretty unpleasant feelings. Reactions to fear and worry can be debilitating, sometimes impacting a person’s ability to function normally in life. A story posted on TheIND.com describes how a Louisiana man’s purported health issues – including anxiety – allegedly enabled him to collect more than $83,000 in disability benefits he did not deserve.

The story states that the man is accused of receiving Social Security disability benefits for a combination of back problems and anxiety. (Police say he falsely stated on his benefits application that he was unable to work because of these health problems.)

Even though the man stated he was unable to work, he allegedly operated two businesses out of his home – a siding company and an auto sales business. (Further research discovered that investigators allege the man purchased a total of 53 vehicles from multiple auto auctions, spending nearly $160,000.That sounds like a job to me, unless he planned to drive all of those vehicles himself.)

The article reports that investigators tracked down the individuals who purchased the vehicles from the 47-year-old man. Many of them claimed that the used car salesman consistently lowered the price on the automobile purchase receipts so that he would have to pay less tax when registering the vehicles. (Perhaps he figured that if one fraud scheme works, why not add tax fraud into the mix?)

It is important to note this man is innocent until proven guilty. Even so, the story raises a good point: accurately reporting income to government programs not only is the right thing to do; it’s the law. And, the authorities take it very seriously.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Lafayette Man Busted for Benefits Fraud,” written by Patrick Flanagan and posted on TheIND.com on November 25, 2014.

LAFAYETTE, LA – State police say a 47-year-old Lafayette man, who collected more than $83,000 in disability benefits, is accused of operating two businesses out of his home at a time when he claimed he had no income.

During their investigation, state police say it was discovered that 47-year-old Alan Jude Bernard also had committed tax fraud through the auto sales business.

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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.