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Behind the Headlines - 12/15/11 Federal Fraud
12/15/11 Federal Fraud

What should happen to government employees who receive government benefits to which they're not entitled?

Responding to our FOIA request, we've learned that between 2006 and 2010 twenty-five employees of the Social Security Administration are believed to have fraudulently received federal benefits -- including Social Security benefits.  In one instance nearly $65,000.

Investigations substantiated allegations in all but three cases.  In one case, the employee died ending the investigation.

Seventeen cases dealt with improperly receiving Social Security benefits including disability insurance, supplemental security income paid to the disabled, and keeping benefits intended for others.

Other fraud included receiving Section 8 public housing benefits, welfare and one employee improperly received federal aid paid-out to Hurricane Katrina victims.

After proving the allegations, four employees were terminated, three resigned, four were suspended, two reprimanded, and one was permitted to retire.  Ten kept their jobs.  One because the allegations were not substantiated.

Of these nine who kept their jobs, federal authorities declined prosecuting eight of them because they repaid the funds -- in one case as much as $60,000.

The ninth was prosecuted, convicted and ordered to repay nearly $24,000.  He still kept his job.

Allowing these employees to keep their jobs is completely indefensible.  But, that's government work for you.

[Read our column on this topic in the Washington Examiner (here).]12/15/11 Federal Fraud

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