False Representation

26630523 - closeup of social security cards and money

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays Child’s Insurance Benefits to a worker’s child – whether a biological, adopted or dependent stepchild – if the worker is disabled or retired and qualifies for Social Security benefits. SSA typically designates a family member or a friend to serve as a representative payee to help manage the monthly financial benefit payments on behalf of the recipients. An article published by The Union Leader tells about a man who illegally collected more than $58,000 in Child’s Insurance Benefits as representative payee for his two minor children.

The story states that the man received Social Security disability benefits. On top of that, it also says that as a representative payee, the man received the Child’s Insurance Benefits on behalf of his two minor children – a biological daughter and a former stepson. (Note that the benefits are supposed to be used to care for the children’s food, clothing, housing and medical care needs.

The story also states that on three occasions over a two-year period of time, the father told the SSA that the two children lived with him. He also confirmed that the benefit payments were being used for their care and support. (A subsequent investigation determined that the kids had not lived with him since seven years prior to the time he began collecting the benefits. I wonder how he spent the $58,459.70 if it wasn’t used to support his children.)

The 49-year-old fraudster pleaded guilty to three counts of Social Security fraud. He is facing a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each of the three counts, or 15 years behind bars.

This particular man falsely represented that he was taking care of his children. (As you know, the government doesn’t take kindly to false representation.) The SSA’s Child’s Insurance Benefits are designated for minor children who need the financial assistance to survive, not a source of extra income to a negligent parent. Congratulations to the SSA’s Office of Inspector General for putting a stop to this man’s exploitive acts.

Source: Today’s ”Fraud of the Day” is based on an article entitled ”Laconia Man Pleads Guilty to Social Security Fraud” published by The Union Leader on June 29, 2015.

CONCORD — A Laconia man pled guilty Monday to three counts of Social Security fraud.

Acting U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire Donald Feith said Walter Morton, 49, of Laconia pled guilty in U.S. District Court, and will be sentenced on Oct. 2. He faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment for each of the three counts.

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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.