Massive Social Security Fraud Case

By: Beth Shayne Email
By: Beth Shayne Email

"The Social Security Administration operates under a court order that they have to issue emergency checks to a person who requests one even if they suspect that person may be lying," the special agent in charge of the Inspector General of the Social Security Administration, Bill Cotter explained.

It is that policy of the federal government--designed to be sure poor people aren't left without money--that's left the government nearly a million dollars short in the western part of the state of Michigan.

Their latest audit found 587 people in West Michigan they say asked for emergency checks from social security even after they'd already cashed a regular one. Several did the same, prosecutors say, at housing commissions and the Department of Human Services. 201 people in Eaton and Ingham counties are accused.

"They are on notice," Doug Lloyd, an assistant prosecutor in Eaton County explained.

These cases will be handled by Eaton County's Economic Crimes Unit--a unit that won't necessarily issue charges. They'll first offer them a chance to pay the government--with penalties.

"]If they do that, the case won't be issued," Lloyd says.

In preliminary interviews, investigators say 90-95 percent of the people accused have confessed.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Mr. Justice Location: Michigan on May 14, 2007 at 12:19 PM
    So if you steal money from the Federal Government, and pay it back, that should let you off the hook for being prosecuted? I don't think so.
  • by Anonymous Location: michigan on May 14, 2007 at 05:36 AM
    Social Security is forgetting to mention that these people have already paid back the money, years ago.
  • by Vickie Location: Lansing on May 8, 2007 at 06:20 AM
    These people should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, regardless if they pay it back or not. Fraud is fraud.
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