Law Office of Patrick E. O'Neill, PSC
606-666-2990

Possible criminal charges for Social Security fraud

A previous post on this blog talked about how the Social Security Administration has plans to monitor the social media accounts of those who apply for disability benefits. The plan is for the federal government to be able to use Social Security applicants' activity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to look for evidence that they have filed a false claim for Social Security Disability benefits. Applicants may say that they are unable to work when, in fact, their reported medical problems are either non-existent or, at best, grossly exaggerated.

At the federal level, prosecutors may file any number of criminal charges should they conclude that a person has made a false statement when applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Many of these charges are felonies and can land a person in prison for years. For example, making a false statement to obtain benefits can result in a fine, as well as five years in prison.

A federal court can also enter a restitution order that requires the accused to pay back any benefits they have improperly received. Federal officials may elect to complete their investigation and refer it to Kentucky prosecutors, so the prosecutors can pursue charges in state court.

A Jackson, Kentucky, resident may find themselves accused of Social Security fraud for any number of reasons. Sometimes, what law enforcement is calling fraud was actually just a mistake on the part of the applicant. Whatever the case, a criminal law attorney should be contacted to help defend against these charges. A good criminal defense attorney can help people defend their rights and protect their futures.

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Law Office of Patrick E. O'Neill, PSC
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Jackson, KY 41339

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