For individuals who must support a family, becoming disabled can be very difficult. Not only is it hard for the person who is disabled, but also for family members who are impacted. (Without a paycheck, how do you eat and pay the rent?) Fortunately, Social Security provides disability benefits for qualified individuals who can’t work or support their family. In some cases, children of the disabled worker can also receive benefits. Today, we look at a disabled Shreveport, Louisiana man, who committed Social Security disability fraud by collecting government funds for his children, except they never saw a penny of it because he spent their benefits on himself.
The Shreveport father applied for and began receiving Social Security Administration (SSA) disability payments in July 2013. According to the SSA, the average disability payment at that time was around $1,200 per month. (Children of disabled workers can receive monthly benefits of up to 50 percent of the parent’s primary insurance amount. That means that each of his two kids could get up to $600 per month because their father was disabled.)
There are some basic requirements that a child must meet before they can receive Social Security disability benefits:
- A child must be unmarried and younger than 18 years old.
- If a child is over 18 years old, they can receive benefits if they are under 19 years old and are enrolled full time as a student in a secondary school or they are disabled, and the disability occurred before the child turned 22 years old.
The kids in today’s article qualified under the first requirement.
The deceptive dad of two applied for and collected around $27,000 in auxiliary benefits for his minor children. The benefits were intended to be used for the care and well-being of the children, but according to today’s fraud article, the unscrupulous father spent the government benefits on himself. (If you do the math, the ruse may have gone on for around two years before he was caught.)
The 51-year-old Shreveport man pleaded guilty to stealing Social Security benefits intended for his two minor children. He is facing up to a decade in prison and three years of supervised release, plus a $250,000 fine for committing Social Security disability fraud.
Parenting is a selfless endeavor requiring an enormous amount of time and money. This man’s selfish endeavor involved using his kids to collect government benefits he did not deserve. Not only has his greed cost him a lot of money and potential time behind bars, but a relationship with his two children.
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled, “Shreveport man pleads guilty to Social Security fraud,” posted on KTBS.com on November 6, 2018.
A Shreveport man has pleaded guilty to taking Social Security benefits intended for his children.
Dianglo Shawntale Mahoney, 51, of Shreveport, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. to one count of theft of government property.