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The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) provide monthly payments to individuals who are eligible to receive the funds. The payments are commonly called benefits. Sometimes, the SSA will accuse a person of social security fraud who may be eligible to receive the money. If you are this category or you’ve been accused of social security fraud, it’s important to fight the criminal charge.
Social Security Fraud is Defined Under the U.S. Code
Social security fraud is defined according to 42 U.S. Code 40 8(a)(1)(8). The criminal statute makes it illegal to provide any fraudulent information or use any fraudulent means to obtain social security payments. For example, it is illegal to provide fraudulent information to obtain an increase in social security payments.
Criminal Charge Based on False Information
There are several ways you can be charged with social security fraud in Bucks County:
•You knowingly, willingly and intentionally deceive the SSA. This means that you used a social security account number that wasn’t yours to earn and collect social security benefits. The information was false. However, the SSA wasn’t aware of the false information and allegedly gave you social security benefits based on the information.
•You provided the SSA with a social security account number that doesn’t exist Based on that false social security number, you were allegedly able to obtain social security benefits.
•You did not report the individual receiving the social security benefits died. This means that you were allegedly collecting social security benefits illegally.
You were selling counterfeit social security cards to individuals who and/or could not obtain a valid social security number.
•You were or were not eligible to obtain social security payments. However, you were hiding information that would affect your eligibility to receive payments.
•You used another individual’s social security number to obtain benefits. This is considered illegally obtain social security benefits.
•You were or were not eligible to receive social security benefits, but you failed to disclose assets so you could obtain benefits.
•You obtain social security number to use in identity theft scams in, around or outside of Bucks County.
Penalties and Defenses to Social Security Fraud in Bucks County
Federal law, not Commonwealth law, makes it a crime for anyone to provide fraudulent information to the SSA to obtain social security benefits. It’s also against state law to misuse the social security funds. According to the federal statute, if you’re found guilty of the crime, you could go to federal prison. The exact amount of prison time may depend on certain factors such as the seriousness of the crime and any prior criminal history.
This means that the most time you could receive in federal prison for social security fraud is 10 years. The federal government also has other punishments for anyone convicted of the social security fraud. For example, you may have to pay $250,000 in fines. You may have to repay the social security money you allegedly stole.
A defense strategy is a defense based on your version of events and the facts of your case. Some common fraud defenses include:
•You are innocent of the social security fraud charge
•You did not knowingly or willing provide fraudulent information to the SSA
•Insufficient evidence. The Commonwealth doesn’t have enough to convict you of social security fraud.
Let Us Represent You in Your Bucks County Social Security Fraud Case
Do you have questions about your social security fraud charge? Are you looking for legal representation? Contact our law offices immediately. When you’re charged with a serious charge such as social security fraud, it’s time to build a tough defense. This crime has serious consequences that are devastating. We will fight to protect your constitutional rights and guide you through the intimidating and complex court process. We work hard to provide you with the strong social security fraud defenses available. Instead of worrying about what could happen, start fighting the charge today. Contact our law firm and let’s begin working on winning your case.