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Florida Woman Jailed for Social Security Disability Fraud

Posted on Apr 07, 2012

In a March 8, 2012 press release, U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announced that a federal jury found Deborah M. Townsend guilty of bilking the Social Security disability program out of $143,805 in illegally received benefits. 

The 46-year-old Flagler Beach, Florida resident faces up to ten years in federal prison. In 1995 Townsend was awarded Social Security Administration disability benefits. She continued to receive these benefits through April 2011. However, when she took a job as a bookkeeper at a Palm Coast small business, she was required by law to report this work to the SSA.

Townsend did not do so, and thus committed fraud according to U.S. law. If she had reported her job to the SSA, the benefits she was receiving would have ended in February 2004. Because she ignored the law and deliberately concealed her work from the SSA, she willingly committed fraud and was found guilty. 

Townsend’s case was investigated by the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General, the Jacksonville, Florida division. Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier led the prosecution.

According to the SSA Office of the Inspector General, fraud against Social Security includes making false statements on claims, concealing facts or events which affect eligibility for Social Security benefits, misuse of benefits by a representative payee and bribery of a Social Security Administration Employee. 

The Boston Social Security law firm of Keefe Disability Law encourages anyone who suspects SSA disability fraud to report it. There are too many deserving disabled people to allow fraud to rob this much-needed system.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law