This Spells Trouble


Many doctors are accused of having bad handwriting. But one who can’t spell his or her own name? That’s going to trigger a fraud alert. The Daily News reports that a spelling error on a New York welfare claim inspired authorities to double-check its validity. (See? Autocorrect does serve a purpose, after all.)

According to the report, a woman submitted a medical statement to the Genesee County Department of Social Services (DSS) that she claimed had been issued by a doctor, whose name was misspelled on the form. (Who knew it was so perilous to ignore autocorrect?)

Unfortunately for her, an examiner caught the error and a subsequent investigation led to the 32-year-old woman’s guilty plea to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. She was sentenced to four months of jail time followed by five years of probation. (Copy this sentence 5,000 times: I must not commit fraud.)

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on, ”Alexander woman gets jail for welfare fraud,” published by The Daily News on May 27, 2016.

An Alexander woman was sentenced Thursday to four months of intermittent jail time, in connection with a welfare fraud case. Sarah Wilson, 32, of Alexander Road had pleaded guilty on March 31 to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Wilson had submitted a forged medical statement to the Genesee County Department of Social Services. She had claimed the statement was completed by a doctor. An alert social welfare examiner noticed the doctor’s name was spelled incorrectly, which led to an investigation by the DSS and county Sheriff’s Office.

Besides the jail time, Wilson will serve five years of 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.