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Social Security Fraud

The largest public benefits program in the United States is social security. The program is funded by tax deposits from U.S. citizens that are collected by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These funds are entrusted to several security trust funds that are distributed and managed by the government. After the recipient has reached a certain age, then the individual will be legally allowed to receive their social security funds.

Anyone who meets the qualifications can receive their social security benefits when they are eligible. Despite this, fraud continues to be a consistent issue within the social security program. Many have been found making false claims on their applications, concealing a change of circumstances that would affect their benefits or use another’s benefits.

If you or someone you know has been charged with social security fraud, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Social Security Fraud Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Every year the Office of the Inspector General conducts an internal audit to identify any signs of fraud. Additionally, the office accepts tips from citizens who suspect that social security fraud may be taking place. With such heightened security and investigative measures, the government is quick to find and arrest those committing social security fraud.

If you or someone you know has been accused of social security fraud, then it’s within your best interest to contact Meltzer & Bell. Having a skilled financial crimes defense attorney defend you such as the ones at Meltzer & Bell can give you the advantage you need to avoid the statutory penalties of your charges. Call us now at (954) 765-6585 to set up your first consultation free today.

Meltzer & Bell accepts clients throughout the greater Fort Lauderdale area including Davie, Pembroke Pines, Pompano Beach, and Hollywood.

Overview of Social Security Fraud in FL

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Laws for Social Security in the U.S.

A person can commit the act of social security in a multitude of ways. It generally happens when a person collects social security benefits that are not meant for them. However, that isn’t the only way a person can commit social security fraud. The United States Code Title 42 Section 1383 states it’s illegal to do the following:

  • Make false statements when applying for benefits;
  • Making false statements or facts when determining the rights and value of the social security benefits;
  • Failed to report a change of circumstances happened that could affect:
    • Your initial or continued right to benefits; or
    • The initial or continued right of a benefit for another person.
  • Receive benefits for another person without disclosing an event or change of circumstances that would stop or reduce the benefit amount; or
  • Applies for social security in another person’s name. You must then receive the benefit and knowingly convert the benefit for the use of someone other than the recipient

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Examples of Social Security Fraud in FL

Fraudulent social security schemes can come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They can be conducted by multiple preparators in a calculated manner and it can also be simply a case of someone cashing social security checks not for them. Listed below are some examples of social security fraud that could land you in prison.

  • Being given a substantial raise and concealing the fact from the Administration;
  • Applying for social security using another person’s identifying information;
  • Failing to report that you have returned to work;
  • Illegally selling or buying authentic or fake social security cards;
  • Lying on your social security application to get better benefits;
  • Continuing to receive benefits from a person who’s deceased;
  • Coercing another person to give their social security account number, date of birth, etc. so you can apply for benefits under that person’s name;
  • Receiving full disability benefits when you have worker’s compensation benefits; and
  • Using another’s social security number to fill out an application

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What Are the Penalties for Social Security Fraud in the U.S.?

The penalties associated with a social security fraud conviction are incredibly severe. Depending on the facts of the case, a conviction can mean expensive fines you must pay out of pocket and up to five years in prison. In addition, if certain factors are proven to be true then the penalties for the crime will be enhanced even further.

The U.S. Code Title 42 Section 1307 establishes that if you make false statements concerning your taxes on your social security application, then you will face a first-degree misdemeanor.

The federal penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include:

  • Up to one year in prison; and
  • A possible fine of up to $1,000.

If any of the following were proven to be true by the court, then your charges will be enhanced to a $10,000 fine and a 5-year prison sentence.

  • The offender impersonated themselves to the Commissioner of Social Security as the recipient of the social security benefits or a beneficiary of the benefits; or
  • The offender impersonated themselves as a government agent or employee to any person so you can obtain social security benefits.

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Additional Resources

Social Security Laws – Visit the official website for the U.S. Government Publishing Office to find more information on the United States Code regarding fraudulent offenses. Access the code to read more about social security laws and what happens if you fraudulently obtain social security benefits.

Report Fraud, Waste or Abuse – Visit the official website for the Office of the Inspector General, the Social Security Administration. They oversee auditing social security applicants and current recipient to ensure there is no fraudulent activity.  Access the site to learn more about fraud, how the Inspector General investigates suspects, as well as how you can submit a report on social security fraud.

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Fraud Lawyer for False Social Security Claims in Fort Lauderdale, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with a fraudulent offense, it’s imperative you have legal counsel. For an attorney who is skilled and experienced in fraud cases, we suggest you get in contact with Meltzer & Bell. With our years of experience we can fight for your rights and help you get your life back on track.

Get in touch with us at (954) 765-6585 to set up your first consultation free. We will sit with you, hear your case and begin building your defense structure right then and there. Meltzer & Bell represents people throughout the greater Broward County area including Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach and Davie.

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