Lawrence Popp defrauds SSA of more than $175,000A Wisconsin man, Lawrence Popp, who collected $115,000 in unlawful Medicare benefits and evaded $178,000 in taxes between 2004 and 2009 in addition to disability payments for his alleged blindness, has been arrested by federal agents after he was caught driving a speedboat.
Lawrence Popp, 58, was sentenced in court on Tuesday to one year in prison for defrauding the Social Security Administration. According to Lawrence Popp in documents and evidence he provided to the SSA at the time of his disability approval he was unable to drive, read, or bowl without bumpers due to his blindness. These statements were made to a benefits counselor at the SSA office in 2008 prior to receiving benefits.
Who is Lawrence Popp?
According to reports, Lawrence Popp is a wealthy man. Not only did he lie to the Social Security Administration, he continued to work and go on expensive vacations for the last five years while he was receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
When Lawrence Popp was arrested by federal agents from the IRS Lawrence Popp was operating a boat. He was also seen driving a car and snowmobile. He was caught when he went to the benefits office to pick up his check. The SSA estimates that he defrauded the government, and the American people, out of an estimated $175,000. Popp also spent money on jewelry, including a diamond necklace for his wife. Additional gold, silver and jewelry valued at $225,000 was also found in Popps home at the time of his arrest.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Giampietro echoed the thoughts of many others when he stated, This is a cynical abuse of a program truly geared to those who need assistance.
This is also further evidence that the disability program, which is now paying a record 10,988,269 people disability benefits, may be rife with payments which are currently be made to claimants who are not really disabled. How could this happen? According to Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) more than 25 percent of benefits are awarded with insufficient, contradictory, and incomplete evidence.
What is disability fraud?
SSDI and SSI fraud is investigated by the Office of Investigations which investigates, activity related to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in Social Security Administration programs and operations. If the Office of Investigations finds fraudulent activities they coordinate with the Department of Justice, state, federal and local law enforcement to arrest and prosecute the offenders.
Social Security Disability fraud is stealing. It is stealing from the American public who pay taxes to support the disabled. It is also illegal. If you believe someone is committing fraud against the Social Security Administration it is your legal responsible to report abuse. The good news is abuse reports can be done anonymously by calling 1-800-269-0271 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, or reported online by visiting https://www.socialsecurity.gov/fraudreport/oig/public_fraud_reporting/form.htm.
The Office of Investigations does not help with all fraudulent activities or disability questions. For instance, they do not answer questions about disability benefits. Those questions should be directed to the SSA general help line at 1-800-772-1213.