A police record of a person’s criminal history, which documents the number of arrests and convictions, is commonly called a “rap sheet.” Today’s “Fraud of the Day” details the story of a Philadelphia man who had a rap sheet a mile long. This crafty and deceitful man used multiple identities to cheat the government out of more than $359,000 in welfare benefits.
The article states that the 64-year-old man used his name and the names and addresses of 10 others to receive approximately $70,500 in cash assistance, $55, 400 in Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and $233,300 in medical assistance benefits over an eight year period of time. An investigation by the Office of the Inspector General began after the Philadelphia Police Department received a referral. Approximately six years later, the fraudster was arrested and extradited from the state of Georgia. (Proof that criminals can’t hide from the government forever.)
The criminal pleaded guilty to identity theft, forgery and tampering with public records. He was sentenced to a minimum of 15 months and a maximum of 30 months in the state correctional institution followed by five years probation. He was also ordered to pay $50 per month for restitution, costs, fees and fines. The fraudster was banned from receiving cash assistance benefits for six months and SNAP benefits for a year. (That’s it?)
At the rate of $50 a month the payback amount on $359,262 without interest would take almost 600 years. The real crime is that this guy was only barred from getting cash assistance and SNAP benefits for a relatively short period of time. (What a joke! This criminal should have been expelled from ALL government benefits.)