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Maverick, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 6423
Experience:  20 years experience
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A TIP OF $75 TO THE RIGHT LAWYER with the understanding that

Customer Question

I am OFFERING A TIP OF $75 TO THE RIGHT LAWYER with the understanding that there will several back-and-forth correspondence. At the end I will add ANOTHER TIP OF $50. Please be knowledgeable regarding Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). if you can help me with your legal expertise in this field I have no problem releasing the money.BRIEF BACKGROUND: I have been disabled (not handicapped) some 20 years; I receive approximately $850 per month from SSDI. I live in a hotel that now charges $100 per day (previously $250 per week) regardless it's easy to see that I could NOT afford to live there on what I receive from SSDI and that they would want to know how I earn enough money to afford living there?
MY PROBLEM: I am usually behind in their communications. This has happened recently to where I had to present myself at the Social Security office to renew my SSDI A so-called friend of mine recently went with me to the Social Security office to falsely state that he lives with me and pays half the rent and signed an SSDI (Federal) document stating so. He now has insisted on me giving him money or else he has threaten to tell SSDI the truth about me living alone at the hotel . I make my additional money as a hooker.
QUESTION 1 - Should he follow through with his threats what legal ramifications could I (will I) faced with SSDI?
QUESTION 2 - Should he follow through with his threats, will he also be in legal trouble with SSDI having given falsified information and signing an SSDI document declaring his lie as true?
QUESTION 3 – Apart from the above troubles, will SSDI want to know how I'm able to afford living in a hotel costing much more than I received for months. Do I acknowledge making extra money, which obviously has never been declared to either SSDI or the IRS?
Please guide me with my best and worst case scenario understanding I probably am NOT looking at any good choice.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Shorten version
Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

Welcome! My name is Maverick. Please give me a few minutes to analyze and/or research your inquiry and I will be back.

Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

1. The office of inspector general [OIG] investigates a variety of situations that may be considered fraud. Social Security applicants and beneficiaries are required to give accurate information about their income, living arrangements, medical condition, and other things that affect eligibility for benefits. They also have to tell SSA when this information changes, for example, when they move, or start working. The consequences for this is can be criminal prosecution and/or civil monetary penalties [more likely]. SSA can impose up to $5,000 for each time a person lied or withheld facts. And, it can also make the person repay up to twice the amount of the benefits that they received fraudulently. If SSA investigates and imposes a penalty, SSA can collect it through administrative actions, including withholding future benefits.

MORE to come...

Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

2. Yes, he can be convicted of aiding and abetting in social security fraud. See this link for a story.

3. If he reports you and the SSA decides to investigate, then yes they will want to know how you are able to afford the hotel. If it gets to this point, then you may want to cooperate in exchange for their written agreement to only impose civil monetary fines and not pursue any criminal prosecution. For example, in the case of the Washington State woman, SSA negotiated a civil penalty settlement with her in which she agreed to pay $38,844; which included her $18,844 SSI over-payment and a $20,000 penalty.

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