For many individuals, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are a lifeline that keeps them from sinking. However, fraudsters look at the Social Security Administration (SSA) benefits program as a source of free-flowing income that can keep them afloat without a care in the world. Today’s fraud spotlight shines on a Concord, New Hampshire man who committed Social Security fraud by lying about his living situation and fraudulently obtained more than $45,000 he did not deserve.
The SSA makes it known that there are definitely consequences when individuals lie on their application for SSI benefits. (In fact, there is an entire booklet dedicated to helping SSI beneficiaries understand their rights and responsibilities.)
Today’s fraudster violated several requirements by lying on his application. To qualify for SSI payments, the beneficiary must provide a change of address if they move. They must also verify when someone moves into or out of their household. The beneficiary must also report if there is a change in their income or the income of any other family member living in the household. Another requirement is to report if you have help with living expenses. Those are just a few of the requirements that the New Hampshire man neglected to report to the SSA.
The 60-year-old man claimed to be living alone in Cornish, Maine over a five-year period, but he was not. He was actually living in Concord, New Hampshire with his wife. (He neglected to report that she existed and was also providing aid.) His lies allowed him to collect $45,473 in SSI benefits, for which he was not eligible.
After a two-day trial in federal court in Portland, Maine, a jury convicted the New Hampshire man of Social Security fraud, but returned “not guilty” verdicts on two other charges. When sentenced, he faces up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of supervised release.
Today’s fraudster didn’t qualify to receive the SSI benefits, which are generally paid to low-income individuals who are blind, disabled or elderly. And, neither did he have limited income and resources, but a wife who provided support. If the man had been honest on his application, he would have never received the benefits. And, he would not have cut off the lifeline to other qualified individuals who depend on this federal program to provide support to vulnerable individuals with disabilities. (It looks like this man’s ship has sailed and took his lifeline with it.)
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “New Hampshire man who claimed Maine residence convicted of Social Security fraud,” posted on CentralMaine.com on March 28, 2018.
A New Hampshire man who falsely claimed to be living in Maine was convicted Tuesday of Social Security fraud following a two-day trial in federal court in Portland.
James Robinson, 60, of Concord was convicted of fraudulently obtaining $45,473 in Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and making false statements to a government agency.