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Man could spend a decade in prison for employee fraud

Many married couples share vehicles, bank accounts, and even income. While such practices may be typical in California and elsewhere, there are certain actions that may be unethical and illegal. For instance, it is never okay to use one's spouse's Social Security Number to collect income; this would be considered employee fraud.

A man in another state may be learning this lesson the hard way. In fact, he now faces up to 10 years behind bars for collecting benefits to which he was not entitled. Authorities say he collected as much as $450K over the course of many years.

The man used to work as a pipefitter, and claimed to be leaving his job of 21 years due to neck and shoulder injuries. He collected benefits for his supposed injuries for two decades. At the same time, he was working another job as a real estate agent, even though he said his injuries kept him from being able to work his previous job. At some point, he also stated that he also could no longer perform his real estate duties because of his injuries. However, the man never actually quit his real estate job; instead, he simply used his wife's Social Security Number to get paid.

The 60-year-old man was ultimately confronted by federal investigators.  He confessed to employee fraud. Apart from the impending prison sentence, he has already been fined $250,000. Any California employer who suspects a worker of similar offenses may request immediate support from an experienced workers' compensation attorney as a first step toward rectifying the situation.

Source:, "Chesapeake man admits to bilking $450K from railroad disability fund", Sept. 14, 2016

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