Saturday, December 10, 2016

Fraud

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Garage Sale

When going to garage sales, you can normally get some great deals on things that you can’t get at your typical Wal-Mart. One North Carolina woman walked away from a garage sale with literally, more than she bargained for.

A woman saw a neighbor having a garage sale and decided to stop by and buy a deep freezer that was big enough to hold a person. She bought the freezer for only $30, but there was a catch.

The woman selling the freezer said that she couldn’t use it right away. She had promised the contents to a church for a project, and they would be by this week to collect. The freezer was sealed shut with duct tape.

She bought the freezer and had to have a lot of help to get it in the house, but the church never came. After three weeks the woman decided something wasn’t right. The freezer was running in the spare bedroom, but she was becoming suspicious.

Last week she decided to open the freezer and see what was inside that the church had not come to get. Kitty litter was the first thing the woman saw, and then she said, “I saw toes and a foot and ankle”.

Slamming the freezer shut she thought it might be a joke or fake, but then looked again and it was a dead body.

“My heart went into my throat,” the woman said to a local reporter.

This is where the story takes a turn for the weird.

Allegedly, the woman in the freezer was the mother of the woman who sold the freezer. The neighbor said she hadn’t seen the elderly woman since she had a stroke last fall.

What this looks like is that the woman died and the daughter needed the monthly checks that were coming in. Instead of burying her mother, she stuffed her in a freezer and sold her at a garage sale.

The police have confirmed the woman in the freezer died of natural causes. She was not murdered.

The police are being very quiet right now on the identity of the woman in the freezer, but the person who bought the freezer believes that the daughter didn’t tell anyone about her mother’s passing in order to keep the money.

The daughter has reportedly moved to West Virginia to visit her mother in a nursing home according to neighbors, and the police are looking to speak with her.

Speaking to WTVD, the woman who wants to stay anonymous said, “I think maybe the daughter was dependent on the mother’s check and didn’t know what else to do. I’m glad that I was the one who was chosen to be able to find her mother so that that poor woman can rest.”

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united-nations

Like a good lap dog, the U.S. is dedicating $36.5 million to help Africa train doctors because the famously corrupt United Nations determined that the continent has a terrible shortage of medical personnel and faculty.

That means Uncle Sam must come to the rescue. The latest Africa allocation is in addition to the eye-popping $654,778,938 that American taxpayers gave the U.N. general fund in 2015 and billions more to the peacekeeping budget and other U.N. organizations. The U.S. has always been the single largest contributor to the world body, which is well known as a pillar of fraud and mismanagement. Even the U.N.’s Human Rights Council, also funded primarily by American taxpayers, is a huge joke.

A few years ago Judicial Watch reported that the U.N. awarded a genocidal warlord indicted by an international court for crimes against humanity a seat on its laughable human rights council. Last year President Obama committed an astounding $3 billion to a new U.N. Climate fund run by communist and terrorist nations.

Now the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.N.’s public health arm, has determined that sub-Saharan Africa is in desperate need of medical personnel. The region bears almost a quarter of the global disease burden yet has only 3% of the world’s health workforce, according to WHO. So this week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency, kicked in the $36.5 million to train Africans.

The NIH doles out north of $31 billion annually to hundreds of thousands of researchers at thousands of universities and institutions around the globe. A few years ago President Obama launched an NIH program to boost the number of minorities in biomedical research and he appointed the nation’s first ever Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity to mastermind a multi-million-dollar effort.

The new Africa allocation will help the region strengthen medical school curricula, upgrade community-based training sites and expand communications technology, according to an NIH announcement. “Research must play an integral part in generating sustainable, quality health care in sub-Saharan Africa, which is the ultimate goal,” NIH Director Francis Collins said. “It is critical that we increase research capacity so Africans can carry out locally relevant investigations themselves, and develop the necessary expertise in areas such as bioethics, informatics, environmental science, and genomics. That will empower their participation in international collaborations.”

This is all based on the WHO’s assessment. Here’s an example of how the U.N. health agency works; a few years ago it determined that 180,000 obesity-related deaths worldwide were linked to sugary drinks. The figure included about 25,000 Americans and the U.N. study made headlines because it supported a preposterous effort by the former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, to ban sugary drinks. Bloomberg’s ridiculous legislation eventually got struck down by a court.

This year the WHO became an even bigger joke for trying to ban disease names, such as swine flu, bird flu and monkey pox, that create a stigma. The effort includes banning the term German measles and Spanish flu because it might upset Germans and Spaniards. A British newspaper called it “an astonishing example of political correctness.”

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government-fraud

At a time when the federal government is running hundreds of billions of dollars in annual budget deficits… is carrying a national debt of well over $18 trillion dollars… and with unfunded entitlement programs trillions of dollars in the red… the Social Security Administration (SSA) overpaid nearly $17 billion in fraudulent SSA disability payments over the last decade.

According to an audit of the SSA’s books by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), some beneficiaries were paid disability benefits for 10 years even though they were ineligible including 216,070 payments to fugitives and prisoners.

The OIG based its estimate of $16.8 billion overpayments on a sample of more than 1,500 Americans who received disability benefits since 2003 that found nearly half were overpaid.

“Our review of 1,532 beneficiaries in current pay status as of October 2003 found that over a 10-year period (from October 2003 through February 2014), SSA assessed overpayments for 44.5 percent of sampled beneficiaries,” the audit said.

“SSA assessed overpayments totaling about $16.8 billion between October 2003 and February 2014 for approximately 4 million beneficiaries who were in current payment status in October 2003…” according to the audit document.

Of that, the agency was able to recover approximately $8.1 billion, though it is still trying to retrieve $6.3 billion in benefits.

The average beneficiary in the OIG’s sample received improper payments for 14 months. Most earned too much or were able to work, making them ineligible for disability. The findings also included 209,643 payments to dead people.

Frank Cristaudo, counselor to SSA Commissioner Carolyn Colvin, said federal law requires the agency to continue paying beneficiaries who may be medically ineligible until after they appeal, a process that can take years.

“We appreciate OIG’s follow-up work from the previous review”…“While the report does not contain any recommendations, we suggest some further clarification of the text of the report,” Cristaudo said.

“During our review of the preliminary findings, we suggested that the OIG clarify the characterization of payments made during the appeal of a medical continuing disability review (CDR) determination to cease benefits,” he said.

“We are required to continue payments for the duration of an appeal, and these payments are later deemed overpayments if we uphold the CDR cessation on appeal. These payments are clearly not ‘improper’ as that statute requires that we make the payment.”

The SSA began conducting annual audits of the SSA disability program at the request of Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) back in 2006. The audit also revealed that:

The SSA “prevented about $8 billion in overpayments between October 2003 and February 2014 to approximately 1 million beneficiaries in current pay status in October 2003 by suspending monthly payments.”

When asked for his response to the audit results, Senator Grassley said:

“Every dollar that goes to overpayments doesn’t help someone in need. Given the present financial situation of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Trust Fund, the program cannot sustain billions of dollars lost to waste.

While the complete elimination of overpayments for either the SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs may not be feasible, the agency is failing beneficiaries and needs to improve its work to rein in the problem.

Congress also may need to look at what additional tools could be provided to further track down and prevent overpayments.”

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Feds-Dethrone-Welfare-Queen

A joint federal and state welfare fraud investigation ended this week in Alabama with simultaneous police raids at 11 locations and 17 arrests related to improper transactions involving the SNAP food stamp system.

According to authorities, the early morning raids named “Operation T-bone” involved local convenience stores accused by Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls of buying Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards from benefit recipients for half the actual value that were then “flipped” for more expensive food from wholesalers.

As a result, food stamp recipients collected cash to buy prohibited items that included alcohol and tobacco – products they are barred from buying with their welfare benefits. Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Raulston said:

“(Welfare recipients) are selling their cards to get those things.” “Part of the problem, in my opinion, is now they don’t have their food stamps card so they don’t have the money to take care of their families or themselves…” “I think it’s a huge cycle of remaining impoverished.”

EBT debit cards were introduced by the government to replace “paper” food stamps in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)… to take the stigma out of presenting paper food stamps for payment in grocery lines in front of third parties… and to dispense benefits to recipients each month electronically.

According to Connor Wolf writing for The Daily Caller:

“The investigation itself was a huge effort by local and federal agencies, including the District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the Gardendale Police Department, the Alabama Department of Human Resources and the Secret Service along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) which administers the federal SNAP program.”

Chris Clark, the lead investigator in the case for the district attorney’s office, told the Alabama Media Group that it was the largest cooperative investigation he had ever been a part of and that participating agencies did anything they could to help – a partnership that Clark looks forward to continuing in the future.

Wolf continued his report by saying:

“SNAP is the nation’s largest food-assistance program. According to a report from the USDA, the program has increased from 17 million participants in 2000 to nearly 47 million in 2014. The size alone has prompted concern among many lawmakers of the potential for abuse.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers the nation’s many nutrition assistance programs, reports that trafficking in SNAP debit cards diverts an estimated $858 million each year from the food assistance.

Food stamp critics believe the rate is much higher citing the fact that the latest food stamp fraud numbers available from the government are only as current as 2011. Millions of recipients have been added to the SNAP program over the last four years.

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burning-money

$125 billion dollars.

That’s how much money the General Accounting Offices (GAO) says federal agencies wasted, lost to fraud or spent on duplicative programs despite hundreds of all but ignored GAO recommendations to address these issues over the last five years according to a report published in The Washington Times.

440 GAO recommendations were made involving 180 service areas where federal agencies could cut back on overlapping and duplicative spending programs but only 29 percent of these recommendations were implemented according to the report.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a private watchdog group, said the GAO survey strengthens their argument that incidences of government waste and abuse are rampant and that taxpayers are footing the bill. ATR tax policy director Ryan Ellis said:

“According to GAO, the federal government made about $125 billion in improper payments in 2014 alone. Solving that would give you enough money to kill the death tax, repeal the federal gas tax and airline ticket tax, end all federal excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco and remove all federal taxes on phone and Internet bills…”

“After that, there would still be enough money left over to give everyone in America a tax cut of $60 just for having a pulse.”

For ignoring these recommendations, federal bureaucrats earned The Washington Times Golden Hammer Award, “a weekly distinction given by The Washington Times highlighting examples of wasteful federal spending.”

Leslie Paige, vice president for policy and communications at the nonpartisan Citizens Against Government Waste said:

“The report just emphasizes for the umpteenth time that wasteful spending is marbled throughout the bureaucracy, and there are hundreds of millions in savings there for the taking, if only Congress would exercise its constitutional mandate to exercise oversight and then act to winnow out the programmatic underbrush and force overdue management changes…”

GAO investigators warned that unless the government takes firm action to end waste fraud and abuse, the government will be forced to cut back through blunt instruments like sequestration to cope with the financial toll. The GAO report highlighted instances where federal agencies with similar or identical programs overlapped in funding.

“For example, (the GAO) reported in 2013 that a total of 31 federal departments and agencies invested billions of dollars to collect, maintain and use geospatial information — information linked to specific geographic locations that support many government functions, such as maintaining roads and responding to natural disasters…”

The GAO report targeted the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for mismanaging programs most responsible for wasteful spending.

“For the first time in recent years, the government-wide improper payment estimate increased in fiscal year 2014, primarily due to significant increases in the improper (IRS) payment estimates for Medicare, Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)”.

“These programs combined account for over 76 percent of the government-wide estimate. We have made numerous recommendations that if effectively implemented, could help improve program management, reduce improper payments in these programs, and achieve cost savings.”

The Washington Times could not reach HHS for comment. The IRS blamed budget cuts and manpower shortages to explain away the improper payments cited in the report.

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social-security

The Social Security Administration (SSA) Inspector General released an audit earlier this month concerning enrollment numbers in the Social Security system to get a handle on waste fraud and abuse that contained some shocking numbers.

The audit revealed that there are 6.5 million people with active Social Security Numbers (SSN’s) on the agency’s database of beneficiaries over the age of 112. If these numbers sound impossible, that’s because they are.

The SSA says the problem has to do with bookkeeping. It seems that the overwhelmingly high number of eligible beneficiaries are phantoms – electronic records called a “Numident” that have not been updated with a “death date”. The March audit concluded that the:

“SSA did not have controls in place to annotate death information on the Numident records of number holders who exceeded maximum reasonable life expectancies and were likely deceased.”

This begs the question: How many of these phantoms are dead and of those who are, have third parties used their SSN’s to collect benefits fraudulently? The SSA has an answer – sort of.

According to the audit summary for tax years 2006 through 2011 the, 66,920 SSNs reported approximately $3.1 billion in wages, tips, and self-employment income but the names on income reporting documents did not match the names for the SSA’s on file. In addition, employers made 4,024 E-Verify inquiries (eligible to work in the U.S.) using 3,873 SSNs belonging to holders born before June 16, 1901 between 2008 through 2011.

It is widely believed that SSN belonging to dead people are used to fraudulently to open bank accounts, allow illegal immigrants to apply for work, file false tax returns for refunds and to file disability claims – with some individuals and even gangs using one or more SSN numbers at a time.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said:

“It is incredible that the Social Security Administration in 2015 does not have the technical sophistication to ensure that people they know to be deceased are actually noted as dead”…

“Tens of thousands of these numbers are currently being used to report wages to the Social Security Administration and to the IRS. People are fraudulently, but successfully, applying for jobs and benefits with these numbers. Making sure Social Security cleans up its death master file to prevent future errors and fraud is a good government reform we can all agree on”.

The committee’s ranking member Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said the findings are “major problem” that wastes taxpayers’ money, exposes citizens to identity theft and undermines confidence in government. To quote Sen. Carper:

“It is simply unacceptable that our nation’s database of Social Security numbers of supposedly living people includes more than six and a half million people who are older than 112 years of age, with a few thousand having birth dates from before the Civil War. Preventing agency errors by keeping track of who has died is a relatively simple problem that the government should pursue as a high priority.”

The use of SSN’s belonging to those who have died and have not been added to the SSA’s “Death Master File” also represents a national security threat. A terrorist could use an SSN to get a driver’s license, secure a birth certificate and obtain other identifying documents that can then be used by a terrorist – particularly the homegrown kind – to blend into a community before striking.

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Food Stamp Fraud

You would think a program like Food Stamps would be used by needy Americans to get the nutritional assistance that they need but you would be wrong – and there are many reasons why.

For starters, you need to know that the cost of federal food assistance programs have been rising in cost steadily for the last half-century. Beginning with a pilot program in 1961, Food Stamps were originally designed to distribute surplus or otherwise unmarketable food to the poor.

Based on the “success” this program, Congress passed Food Stamp Act of 1964 – letting it go national in 1974 and finally funding it through the Food Stamp Act of 1977. It was never meant to be an entitlement… never meant to benefit anyone other than poor American citizens… and never meant to be a way of life.

In the ensuing decades, all of this has fallen by the wayside.

The government currently spends over $110 billion a year on food assistance programs, and they’re continually attempting to get more people on board the government program.

In 2008, 28.2 million Americans were on food stamps. In the first five years of the Obama Administration, 19.4 million people have been added to the program. Today, 47 million Americans are on food stamps – particularly through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Then, to take the social stigma out of using food stamps, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) worked with states to begin paying benefits through an electronic ATM type card (called EBT, Electronic Benefits Card) accepted at most grocery stores to buy healthy foods such as bread, cereal, fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products.

And while the USDA says items such as hot food, pet food, soap, household supplies, beer, cigarettes and wine are strictly forbidden, the SNAP program has no way of enforcing these rules. Because of this, the “rules” are more like soft guidelines, and that might explain the massive increase in welfare recipients in the past few years.

Nine Things You Didn’t Know You Could Buy With Food Stamps

Here are nine questionable items that you can (or will soon be able to) purchase with a SNAP ATM card.

  1. Fast Food: Taco Bell, KFC and other fast food restaurants are just two of many fast food restaurants that accept SNAP EBT cards.
  2. Bail: Convicted felons have reportedly used their EBT as bail money. The incarcerated instructs someone to go to an ATM to withdraw money from their EBT for bail.
  3. Lingerie: One adult store, Kiss My Lingerie in Gonzales, Louisiana, accepts EBT. Other adult stores are also been known to accept welfare transactions.
  4. Shoes: Payless Shoes also accept EBT.
  5. Strip clubs: In 2013, the New York Post reported that Freedom of Information Act documents (FOIA) revealed welfare recipients were regularly making EBT withdrawals at the ATMs near and inside infamous porn shops, liquor stores, lounges and hookah parlors.
  6. Starbucks: While corporate stores don’t accept EBT, any gourmet coffee shops like Starbucks in a Target or grocery chain is considered a grocery item.
  7. Cold hard cash: Some people sell their SNAP EBT benefits cards for cash using websites like Craigslist to find buyers.
  8. Cupcakes/Gourmet cakes: It is considered food, no matter the price.
  9. Coming Soon? Pot: Colorado became the first state to legalize the use of recreational marijuana. The may also become the first state to have taxpayer funded pot smoking. A Colorado Pot Shop called Rite Greens has already taken the steps to officially accept SNAP EBT cards.

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White House Visa Program

At the close of 2014, two disturbing stories illustrate how the Obama administration is deliberately compromising national security by drastically expanding a fraud-infested program that lets rich foreigners buy U.S. visas and losing track of 96% of the illegal immigrants recently ordered deported.

This is outrageous by any standards. In the first case, an obscure program known as EB-5 that lets wealthy foreign investors essentially buy their way into the United States has skyrocketed under Obama. The capital area’s conservative newspaper published a distressing story this week that reveals the visa program has mushroomed under Obama despite its history of fraud and congressional concerns about national security risks. Buy your way into the USA, says our commander-in-chief.

Since Obama took office the number of immigrants who have entered the U.S. legally via EB-5 has risen an astounding 700%, according to government figures cited in the article. Word has spread among rich foreign nationals because “the number of foreign citizens applying for the visas has grown even faster, from 853 in 2008 to 12,453 in 2014,” the story says. A former federal immigration official quoted in the article confirms that the Obama administration has been pushing the visa program via a “major promotion.” An overwhelming majority of the “investors” are from communist China.

As if this weren’t bad enough, a Houston news station investigating the recent influx of Central American illegal immigrants obtained downright scary information after duking out with the government for six months. Thousands of Central American families caught crossing the border between July 18 and October 28 had to be released on their own recognizance because there wasn’t enough detention space, according to the documents obtained by the Texas news station from the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR). All were ordered to appear before an immigration judge at a later date.

Here is where it gets really crazy; 96% of the removal orders occurred “in absentia,” which means the illegal immigrant, not surprisingly, didn’t show up for the hearing. So, essentially, the U.S. government deported a ghost—or the courtroom wall—in nearly all of these cases. That means the violators are still somewhere in the country and nobody really knows where. Here is one figure reluctantly provided by the EOIR; of the 15,614 families caught crossing the border, but not detained, 4,197 were ordered removed from the country in absentia. No wonder the government fought hard to keep the information from going public.

Our government trusts foreign nationals who have violated our laws by entering the country illegally, then releases them into our communities and trusts them to show up in court at a later day! This happens all the time, the EOIR admits in the news segment, but not in such large numbers. Typically the agency reports an annual 11 to 15% “in absentia” rate. Many Americans might agree that, after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, no foreign national in the country illegally should be released into the community and trusted to show up in court for a court hearing.

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In the same week that President Obama issued his administrative amnesty sparing millions from deportation, the feds busted a criminal ring of illegal immigrants that used stolen identities to defraud the U.S. government out of $7.2 million in tax refunds.

The mastermind of this sophisticated operation is a resourceful delinquent in Frankford, Delaware who runs a landscaping and cleaning business called “Las Tres Mujeres” (the three women in Spanish). Her name is Linda Avila and she’s admitted in federal court that she filed more than 1,700 fraudulent tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using stolen identities assigned to migrant workers—mostly from Mexico—living in the U.S. illegally.

Avila altered W-2 forms with white out to cover up the names, social security numbers and addresses then wrote in other names and addresses to create the fraudulent returns, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement. Foreign dependents were often added to increase the refund amounts. The IRS then cut refund checks ranging from $4,000 to more than $7,000, according to the feds. Avila provided the illegal aliens fake identification documents so they could cash the IRS refund checks. The illegal alien migrant workers kept a small fee and gave most of the money to Avila.

When federal agents searched Avila’s home in Delaware they seized about 17 boxes of fraudulent tax records, according to the DOJ document outlining the case. Templates for fraudulent W-2 forms and identification documents were also found on her computer. The records included copies of approximately 1,754 tax returns filed between 2008 and 2014 for tax years 2004 through 2013. The total loss to the IRS based on the fraudulent returns is approximately $7.2 million, federal authorities estimate.

Back in July a federal grand jury in Norfolk Virginia indicted Avila on charges of conspiracy to make false claims, mail fraud and false claims against the United States. On November 17, the same week Obama issued a long-anticipated administrative amnesty, Avila finally pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy and mail fraud. She faces three decades in prison and remains free pending sentencing on February 17. The feds have not disclosed if her illegal immigrant partners in crime will be charged.

What we do know for sure is that a few days after Avila pleaded guilty for operating this scheme involving illegal aliens swindling the U.S. government—and American taxpayers—our commander-in-chief announced with great fanfare that he was sparing 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation. Their presence in the U.S. alone constitutes a violation of our laws, yet the president rewarded them with amnesty. Obama actually acknowledged this during his recent speech in Las Vegas where he celebrated the new order with his allies in the powerful open borders movement. “The truth is, undocumented workers broke our immigration laws,” Obama said. “They didn’t follow the rules in terms of how they were supposed to come.”

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