What do you need to know about a Social Security fraud charge?

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2022 | White Collar Crimes

Social Security fraud falls under crimes typically considered “white-collar” violations. These violations involve theft or deception instead of violence. While this may allow some Florida citizens to believe that the law takes white-collar crimes less seriously, committing Social Security fraud may result in a federal felony charge. You face serious penalties if you are convicted.

Definition of Social Security fraud

Fraud occurs when you use misrepresentation in order to gain something valuable. The Social Security Administration defines fraud as failing to disclose important facts in order to gain access to benefits and payments.

Examples of this type of fraud

You may be charged with a felony if you are accused of committing Social Security fraud. Common examples include:

  • Falsifying claim statements
  • Misusing benefits
  • Buying Social Security cards
  • Selling Social Security cards
  • Making fake Social Security cards
  • Filing claims using someone else’s Social Security number
  • Impersonating a Social Security administration agent
  • Bribing an agent

Social Security fraud penalties

Consequences for Social Security fraud range in severity and depend heavily upon the circumstances. Even for first-degree misdemeanors, you can face up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. If your offenses warrant a felony charge, you face up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Even more serious penalties may occur if you are found guilty of violating The Fraud and Error Prevention Act of 2014. This federal act specifically addresses actions related to conspiracy to defraud the Social Security Administration. These acts of fraud typically involve more than one person and can result in up to ten years in prison.

Effects on your life

A conviction can affect your entire life. You may face restrictions on voting, employment and housing. Building a strong legal defense strategy may keep you out of prison and protect your long-term interests.