A Mood Killer

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I think it’s safe to say that we all get a little moody every now and then. Sometimes it’s the little things that set us off; and sometimes it’s the big things, like Social Security Disability Insurance fraud. Ok, that’s one of my triggers. Maybe you’re more worried about the how slow the person drove in front of you the entire way to work, or how long you stood in line at the coffee shop this morning. Fraudsters have other issues, and for them, getting busted for stealing from government is known to be a quick mood killer.

Allow me to introduce you to a fraud-tastic couple out of Kansas City, Missouri. They both started a plumbing company together, currently raise four children, and during their spare time the husband falsely claims of mood and anxiety disorders to collect disability fraud. (Interesting hobby.) Fortunately for the taxpayers, this plumber and his wife ran into a situation they just couldn’t fix.

An investigation discovered that while the husband collected his Social Security disability checks, he worked full time on more than 50 plumbing projects with his own company. (I guess we could call him an entrepreneur in spirit.? The investigation even provided photographs of the fraudster at work, utilizing heavy equipment. (Busted.)

The husband and wife duo pleaded guilty to theft of government money, both sentenced to serve separate punishments. On August 7, 2012, the husband, responsible for claiming mood and anxiety disorders affecting his work, was sentenced to six months in federal prison, and is responsible for paying $140,000 in restitution. His wife will spend her next five months raising their four children while on probation.

The fraudster’s quest for easy street can often be a direct path straight to the slammer. And, with someone who claims to be ”moody,” we are safe to assume that this bust did not go down without a pout. I’m sure it’s safe to assume that the Department of Justice and the Social Security Administration have been responsible for the poor moods of busted fraudsters nationwide.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article titled, ”Mo. Man Sentenced for Disability Fraud,” published by the San Francisco Chronicle on August 7, 2012.

A western Missouri man will serve six months in federal prison for fraudulently receiving disability

benefits while he and his wife ran a plumbing company.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 35-year-old Kody Ray Erisman, of Centerview, must also pay more than $140,000 in restitution under the sentence he received Tuesday.

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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.