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Cambridge Man Charged with $65,000 Rip-off in Disability Fraud Case

Posted on Sep 26, 2012

A Cambridge, Massachusetts, man—Frederick Cross, 68—was indicted by the Suffolk County Grand Jury on May 1, 2012. In late August, he was formally charged with using another man’s identity to allegedly bilk the state for more than $65,000 in benefits.

According to a Suffolk County press release, Cross faces charges for “four counts of identity theft, two counts of making false claims to a government agency, and single counts of forgery or misuse of a Registry of Motor Vehicles document, making false statements to obtain public assistance, making false statements to obtain medical assistance, and making false statements under penalty of perjury.”

When Cross failed to appear for arraignment on May 14, 2012, an arrest warrant was issued. Then, in late August, he appeared at a Social Security office in Waltham, where members of the Waltham Police Department arrested him. 

The next day, appearing before Suffolk Superior Court Clerk Connie Wong, Cross was ordered to be held on $25,000 bail, although prosecutors had asked for twice that amount.

Cross allegedly used the personal information of another man, including his birth certificate, Social Security number, and date of birth, to collect fraudulent benefits, beginning in 2005. Over the years, he is alleged to have received $65,897 from state agencies including MassHealth, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and Emergency Aid for the Elderly, Disabled and Children. 

In 1990, Cross applied for both Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Social Security Income under his own name, but was turned away. He subsequently obtained a Social Security card, a Massachusetts driver’s license, and a Massachusetts ID card in the other man’s name. 

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said, “Public assistance fraud is much more than a crime against government agencies. It’s a crime against the genuinely needy, who depend on state benefits to support the very young, the very old, and the disabled.”

Cross is scheduled to appear in court on October 5 for a pretrial conference.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law