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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

Social Security Fraud is on the Rise in Florida

In February, last year a defendant was sentenced to more than 5 years in prison by the Middle District of Florida for fraudulently using his missing father’s identity to get social security benefits. This is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social security fraud but this doesn’t mean all alleged offenders were aware of what they were doing.

While the potential penalties for Social Security fraud convictions are significant, including fines, imprisonment, restitution, and forfeiture of benefits, it's essential to remember that everyone has the right to a fair trial and the opportunity to present a strong defense.

Social security fraud can manifest in various cunning ways, constituting a violation of United States Code title 42 § 1383. This statute expressly prohibits:

• providing false information regarding the entitlement or value of benefits;

• neglecting to report changes in circumstances that could impact eligibility for benefits;

• illegally receiving benefits intended for another individual without disclosing factors that would alter or diminish the benefit allocation;

• falsifying statements during the application process for social security benefits;

• assuming someone else's identity to apply for social security benefits and subsequently diverting these funds for personal gain or the benefit of others.

Penalties for Social Security Fraud in Florida

The severity of the penalties depends on factors such as the amount of money involved, the degree of deception, and whether the fraud was committed knowingly and willfully. In cases of aggravated fraud or repeat offenses, penalties may be more severe. Additionally, individuals convicted of social security fraud in Florida may face other consequences, such as loss of professional licenses, deportation for non-citizens, and damage to their reputation.

Penalties for Social Security Fraud in Florida

The consequences for social security fraud can be severe and a fraud conviction could result in a fine and up to 5 years in prison. The U.S. Code title 42 § 1307 states if you make false statements regarding your taxes on an application for social security payments, you could face a 1st degree misdemeanor.

The federal penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor are:

• up to 12 months in prison;

• a fine of no more than $1,000.

If you do the following, you will be penalized with a fine of $10,000 and 5 years in prison:

• impersonate yourself to the Commissioner of Social Security that you are the recipient of the social security benefit or a beneficiary of the benefit;

• impersonate yourself as a government agent or employee to any person so you can ge social security benefits.

It’s vital for individuals accused of social security fraud in Florida to seek legal representation promptly to navigate the complex legal process and mitigate the potential consequences. Being proactive in addressing allegations and cooperating with authorities can sometimes lead to reduced penalties or alternative resolutions.

Defending a charge of social security fraud

In Florida, individuals accused of Social Security fraud can find solace in knowing that there are defenses available to challenge the prosecution's case. These are;

• a lack of intent to commit fraud;

• mistaken identity;

• lack of evidence;

• the mental capacity of the alleged offender.

If you have been arrested for any type of fraud, contact “Albert Quirantes Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers” in Miami, as their experienced legal team may just get your charge dismissed or reduced.

Contact Albert Quirantes, Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers
(305) 644-1800.


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