Category Archives: Disability Fraud

Recap and Announcement

Updated: Feb 2016:  forgot to provide the new website mentioned below.  It is www.testingmaryland.com  Please visit, and let us know what you think.

 

This site was dedicated to learning about and exploring the truth concerning one person’s experience with another. The site expanded in ways that we didn’t originally plan for, and it wasn’t long before we outgrew the original intent while simultaneously reaching our goal. This site focused on one person, and what they were able seemingly able to achieve.

We originally sought to explore the following with our Pisces, Gail R. Proctor:

Here are the posts that have been done, that address each of the subject areas.

It all surfaced on mortgage applications for houses that were secretively in bankruptcy:

http://www.tocatchafish.net/being-stuck-in-fraud/

 

Which led to the REAL fake husband of Ms. Gail Renai Proctor’s that appears to be:  http://www.tocatchafish.net/bah-fraud-solve/

 

Which led to finding this:

http://www.tocatchafish.net/she-claims-she-is-married/

http://www.tocatchafish.net/mr-black-will-be-turning-60/

 

Is there disability fraud going on?

http://www.tocatchafish.net/maryland_and_full_disability/

 

False claims of Florida residency in order to avoid paying Maryland taxes

http://www.tocatchafish.net/maryland-tax-evasion/

 

Continuing to operate a business in Maryland without paying its MD personal property tax or filing a company tax returns with IRS

http://www.tocatchafish.net/md_corp_fraud/

 

Making false statements in order to try to quiet someone who knows your Federal fraud:

http://www.tocatchafish.net/pretend_victim/

 

Committing Bankruptcy fraud (same old pattern of fraudulent statements):

http://www.tocatchafish.net/bankruptcy-fraud/

 

The original questions we sought to answer were:

1) How easy is it for someone to defraud the Federal Government for years undetected?

2) Is it possible for someone to create a person out of thin air and get financial benefit from it for years?

3) Can a person take paperwork from a Federal agency, and submit an altered version of it to a related State agency, undetected, and get financial benefit?

4) Can a person claim a disability that doesn’t exist, and get paid for it?

5) How easy is it to conceal assets, stockpile money and give false statements on your Federal bankruptcy schedules under the alleged “penalty of perjury”?

6) How easy is it to claim that you live in a State that has no income taxes, in order to avoid paying taxes in another State where you do live (that has taxes)?

 

Clearly, the problem isn’t just the person who is doing the acts, but the people who help enable it and the systems that allow it. Hence, the creation of a new site with a new purpose! Stay tuned as we finalize that site and its’ contents. We will make the announcement on this one, and link the two of them together.

SSDI: Half Would Be Outraged, Half Would Apply For Benefits

The headlines are everywhere: the SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) fund is set to run out in late 2016 if something isn’t done to replenish it.  It’s not that most people don’t see the need for it, but with the fraud, waste and abuse that plagues the Social Security system, people don’t want it to be reauthorized without some reforms put into place to help curb the fraud, waste and abuse.  According to THIS NBC News article, changes made in 1995 opened the door to get benefits for certain disorders.  The number of “Musculoskeletal conditions and mental health disorders” claims has exploded. What happens when a backlog happens in a system where performance is judged by quantity instead of quality?

Corners are cut.

And what typically can be found in places where corners are cut?

Fraud, lies, greed, and theft.

When you first make a disability claim, you can expect that it will likely get denied.  There’s no shortage of internet sites that tell you this and all about the process.  A Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is compiled with input from the Disability Determination Services (DDS) agency and information documented from your doctor.  The goal for someone who really doesn’t want to work apparently is to get an RFC that says you aren’t even capable of doing “sedentary work”. What is that?  It means you can’t lift more than 10 pounds at a time, mostly sit with occasionally walking and standing. The disability examiner determines, given your skills, age and abilities, if you can be taught another job.  If you are making a claim for physical disabilities, it’s completed by a physician.  If it’s for mental ones, a psychologist or psychiatrist will reference your mental symptoms that affect your ability to work. Site after site recommends you have an attorney to help you navigate through the denials you are likely to get.  And when you do, here’s what they won’t tell you, but should: if you aren’t supposed to be working, then DON’T.  Also, if you’re caught pretending, faking or malingering, you can go to prison.

Attorneys know, hear about, or learn which judges tend to do what.  You can even find the claim approval statistics BY JUDGE for the Administrative Law Judges on the internet! HERE it is for Maryland. The danger comes when an attorney, more focused on winning at all costs for his/her client, helps the client to bend and fudge the facts instead of protecting the very system they may one-day need from abuse.

A report was released by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, available by clicking HERE, that is sub-titled “How Rubber-Stamping Disability Judges Cost Hundreds of Billions of Taxpayer Dollars”.  As a result of the rampant fraud and abuse of the SSA benefits system, investigations are on the rise.  And when a person, determined to lie to get benefits, hires a lawyer who colludes with your lies, the clock starts ticking.  See THIS story about the scheme by Judge David B. Daugherty and attorney Eric Conn (appropriate last name) to defraud the SSDI system by fast-tracking claims through the administrative hearing process for people who very likely didn’t deserve benefits at all.  How do you get the medical data to support it?  Easy!  Use doctors recommended by your lawyer who “you could get them to do what you want”.

I found and watched the 60 Minutes story on the disability fraud, and you can too by clicking HERE. The Vice President of the Association of Administrative Law Judges, Marilyn Zahm, said “if the American public knew what was going on in our system, half would be outraged and the other half would apply for benefits.”  I know which half I am, and I know a few people who have shamelessly and shamefully applied for benefits.  Read the comments on the video site.  Others apparently know of them too.

Malingering for Federal and State Benefits

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last blog post concerning surveillance and disability fraud investigations. Due to the comments we posted (and those we didn’t), we are writing this post about the concept of Malingering. What is it, and why would someone do it?

According to Medscape, malingering in the DSM-V is described as “”The essential feature of Malingering is the intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms, motivated by external incentives such as avoiding military duty, avoiding work, obtaining financial compensation, evading criminal prosecution, or obtaining drugs.” That’s a mouthful! Let’s look at a few cases involving the financial compensation part.

Larry Benson’s Fraud of the Day site recently wrote about a guy who was “mooching” by claiming to have an injury that didn’t prevent him from playing basketball and working out at the gym (good old surveillance at work). That guy got almost 9 years time for his fraud.

The military handles malingering under Article 115. You can find it by clicking HERE. It is a punishable offense. THIS retired Air Force captain suggests that the VA could possibly have fewer cases of malingering on their hands if they got corroboration from civilians who know what is really going on with the people they live and interact with (a form of surveillance and intel). Another story of a guy malingering and lying about injuries to obtain benefits (and being reported by others) can be found HERE. He faces a maximum of 15 years and a $250,000 fine.

It’s not just limited to physical injuries, unfortunately. The numbers of people getting diagnosed with PTSD has swelled through the past several years. And so have the numbers of people that actually have “Pseudo-PTSD”. Without a doubt, true sufferers of PTSD deserve all of the help, medical and financial, that our Country can give to them. Their symptoms also are COMPLEX. People who actually have Pseudo-PTSD, and are malingerers, take away the ability to do justice to the true sufferers. Many articles can be found on this but journal articles are respected more and one can be read by clicking HERE . A fantastic writeup done by an attorney on how to combat someone’s claim of PTSD (which includes surveillance and digging into the past of the claimant) can be found HERE.

Perhaps the Veteran’s Benefit Administration AND the Social Security Administration could financially benefit from using some of these resources in order to combat such fraud. Perhaps they already are!  Your Country thanks you for your help in detecting it.

NOTE: it’s been one year since this blog started. We almost made it to 75,000 page hits! Many thanks for spreading the word, and we look forward to doubling the numbers in year 2. There is a lot left still to write about.

Using Surveillance to Catch Disability Fraud

Fraudulent claims for disability have been a problem for the Social Security Administration for years.  The ways that fraud investigators find the fraudster range from simply putting two and two together with documents, to relying on anonymous tips via their fraud hotline. In between, investigators often root out the fraudster from simply watching them.  It happens more and more these days.

THIS guy was receiving more than $6000 per month for his “disability”, but meanwhile was seen playing basketball, doing yardwork, and washing his boat that the author says was probably purchased using his disability payments.  He was getting money from SSA and Veteran’s Affairs.

THIS woman was caught committing worker’s comp fraud by using video surveillance.  One minute, she needed a cane and a brace, and the next she could function just fine without it.

The Social Security Administration has a Cooperative Disability Investigations Program that routinely employs the use of video surveillance in order to catch fraudsters.  A few of their cases can be read about by clicking HERE.  More can be found on video surveillance by clicking HERE.  An attorney did a nice writeup about the ways that surveillance is conducted.  It includes interviewing 3rd parties and reviewing information found on social media.

THIS story reports on the retired officers and firefighters who were charged with making fraudulent PTSD claims for disability to the Social Security Administration.  There were more than 100 of them. On their paperwork, apparently they kept writing that “I’m unable to perform any type of work activity in or out of the house”.  But they were found to be jet skiing, piloting planes and doing work.  If you write that you can’t do things, than don’t be seen or heard doing those things.  Period.

You should especially not be out in very public venues doing any of the things that you attested to not being able to do.  Being on The Price is Right, grabbing the big wheel when you are getting disability pay for a shoulder injury, is a no-no. Going zip-lining while on vacation with your partner, is another.  I’d like to know how they found out what Cathy Cashwell was doing while on vacation! (ooh, it’s probably by first checking bank and credit card statements and getting it confirmed from pictures!) It’s called malingering (faking an illness for personal gain).  The Form 3368 for a malingerer, makes for interesting and entertaining reading indeed!  A note to fraudsters: if the doctor you listed in Section 8 is someone who is known to certify for bogus claims, you may want to turn yourself in before you are caught. And shame on you for listing and wasting good meds that could be used for someone who really intends to take them.

How can you get away with disability fraud?  Here’s advice from the investigator written about in the story above: ““The best way and only way of beating the system is completely staying in your house, not leaving for three to five years.” Cathy, I bet you don’t have that smile you had on the Price is Right video now!