Social Security fraud is addressed under federal statutes – specifically, 42 U.S.C. 1383a. In part, the law defines fraud as having knowledge of the occurrence of any event that would affect one’s initial or continued right to any such benefit or the initial or continued right to any such benefit of any other individual in whose behalf or she applied for or received the benefits, along with a failure to disclose it.
Violation of this law carries a maximum five years in prison, plus an order for restitution.
Despite this, a Deerfield Beach woman who allegedly committed Social Security fraud for more than three decades was sentenced to house arrest, probation, community service and restitution. This was after defendant Claudia Carpenter, 60, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft of government funds. The Sun-Sentinel reported Carpenter admitted to the court when entering her plea that she failed to tell the Social Security Administration when her mother died in 1984. Instead, she continued collecting her mother’s disability checks – about $900 each month – which were automatically deposited to their joint bank accounts. Years later, she started taking the money out of automatic teller machines. Continue reading