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Social security benefits are payments received from the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on eligibility requirements. This means that you were eligible to receive monthly payments based on certain information such as age and/or income. What many people don’t know is that in Philadelphia and around the county the SSA actively seeks information about those committing social security fraud. Thus, if you are innocent or weren’t aware that the information you provided was false, someone could report you to the SSA for social security fraud.
What is Social Security Fraud in Philadelphia?
Since social security is a program administered by the federal government, social security fraud is defined by the federal code. This federal criminal code is found under 42 U.S. Code 408. According to this federal statute it is illegal to provide any fraudulent information to the SSA for the purpose of obtaining social security benefits.
The fraudulent information given to the SSA obtain monthly payments includes, but is not limited to:
1. You made a false statement to obtain social security benefits
2. You hid information such as income and assets that would affect your eligibility or amount of money you’d receive.
3. You provided false or illegal social security number to earn and/or receive social security payments.
Fraudulent information is not limited to providing false information to the SSA. For example, you could be charged with social security fraud if you did not report the death of a beneficiary. It is illegal for anyone to collect social security benefits of someone who has died. You can also be charged if you sell counterfeit social security numbers.
It’s imperative that you contact a lawyer immediately if you or a loved one is accused of social security fraud. You need to understand your rights and the federal court process.
Penalties for Social Security Fraud in Philadelphia
Federal law differs from Commonwealth law when it comes to fraud cases. This means that a fraud charge in Philadelphia doesn’t have the same type of prison time as fraud in a federal court. There are two types of penalties for social security fraud. For example, if you are convicted of providing false information to the SSA, you face five years in federal prison.
However, you face more time if you are convicted to selling or financial benefiting from social security fraud such as selling social security numbers. You face approximately 10 years in federal prison.
The federal judge may make you pay a $250,000 fine. You also may have to pay all the money you received from the SSA. Thus, in addition to time in prison, you may pay a lot of money to the federal government.
Defenses to Social Security Fraud
You exact defense will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. For instance, you will have a different defense to social security fraud if you are accused of selling social security numbers than if you misused funds. Some common defenses to fraud involving social security include innocence, an alibi and no intent to defraud the government.
Contact us Regarding Your Philadelphia Social Security Fraud Case
Our Law Firm is dedicated to representing people in Philadelphia who are accused of social security fraud. The federal government does not play around when it comes to this type of criminal charge. They are out to prove your guilt, even if there’s a lack of evidence. Contact our law firm for representation. You have the right to defend yourself against this charge. You also have the right to have a legal team fighting hard to prove your innocence. We are that legal team. Contact us today for a free consultation.