The Different Types of Social Security Fraud

Posted on in Fraud

fraudA wild story emerged recently about a man that lived as his dead relative for over a decade, at least when it came to the deceased’s Social Security benefits. The man tricked the government into thinking that the deceased man was still alive and living with the fraudster. Federal agents caught on eventually and, after questioning the man, charged him with deceased payee fraud.

The story sounds outrageous, but it happens more often than people think. In fact, in 2018 alone, the Social Security Administration (SSA) paid out over $40 million to 500 dead people in just three states. Those states were Texas, Maryland, and Michigan. This, however, is just one type of Social Security fraud and all of them are taken very seriously by the federal government. The most common types of this kind of fraud are below.

Making False Statements

When a person claims Social Security benefits, it is expected that they will be completely honest in their application. Sometimes people do not do this because they want to claim more benefits. So for example, they may state that they do not have any income when that is not true.

In addition to telling the truth, it is also expected that people will disclose all pertinent facts. When they fail to do so, they can be charged with fraud. For example, if a person is applying for disability benefits and they fail to state that their injury has healed, they could face fraud charges.

Crimes Involving SSA Employees

There are many crimes pertaining to SSA employees. The first is when actual SSA employees sell fake or real Social Security cards. These are sometimes sold to individuals that then use them to steal another person’s identity. However, it is also illegal to impersonate an SSA employee. People do this sometimes in order to learn a person’s confidential information so they can then gain access to that person’s benefits.

Lastly, it is also a crime to bribe an SSA employee. Individuals do this so decisions will be made in their favor. For example, someone applying for benefits may bribe an employee with $100 to approve their application.

Misuse of Benefits by a Representative

This crime is similar to the offense that happened in the recent story. Instead of collecting benefits for a deceased relative though, a person will state they are a representative of someone collecting benefits. When they receive the benefits, they then use them for their own personal gain and not for the benefit of the person that is supposed to receive them.

Been Charged with Social Security Fraud? Call Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Social Security fraud is a very serious offense and comes with serious penalties for those charged. If you are facing charges, call a skilled Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer today at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel. Attorney Garfinkel has the necessary experience to represent those accused in federal court and give them the best chance of success. Call us today at 312-629-0669 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.


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