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Iowa Man Sentenced in SSA Disability Fraud


Posted on Mar 16, 2012

Scott C. Murphy, 43, of Clinton, Iowa, will spend time behind bars for his attempt to dupe the Social Security Administration (SSA) disability program. On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, Murphy was sentenced to two months in jail and ordered to pay almost $143,000 in restitution for SSA disability benefits he received improperly.

U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt announced in a news release that Murphy’s imprisonment is a punishment for making false statements to United States SSA agents. U.S. District Judge Robert W. Pratt handed down an additional one-year supervised release and ordered Murphy to pay $142,949.90 in restitution, the exact amount he received illegally.

Court documents state that Murphy underreported his wages from 2004 – 2011. He used his wife’s name and social security number to hide the fact that he no longer needed the assistance provided by the SSA disability program. 

The SSA finds, arrests and prosecutes disability fraud through a program called Cooperative Disability Investigations (CDI). This program, begun in 1998, links the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and local law enforcement with federal and state workers who handle disability cases. By September 2012, the SSA hopes to have a total of 28 operational CDI units throughout the U.S.

Since 1998, about $1.9 billion will have been saved in the disability program alone. The SSA also has nine attorneys, “Special Assistants,” assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. They prosecute fraud cases that would not normally be prosecuted. From 2003 to 2010 they were responsible for 717 guilty pleas or convictions, along with over $36.9 million in restitution payments.

The net is closing more and more securely around fraudsters like Murphy, as the SSA works to find and prosecute them.

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John L. Keefe
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