For the vast majority of people seeking Social Security Disability, claims and injuries are legitimate. And their benefits are entirely justified. However, occasionally, an individual defrauding the system is weeded out. Hopefully, the case of Charles Daniel Koss, 63, recently found guilty in federal court, will be seen by the critics of SSD as an extreme exception to the rule that most claims are lawful and genuine.
Between 1994 and 2010, Mr. Koss, of Independence, Missouri, fraudulently received over $200,000 in Social Security Disability Insurance payments. During his period, he worked as a full-time loan officer at a company he also owned and operated. Evidence came out at trial depicting Koss as a very active person, regularly participating in bowling, golfing, horseshoes, and boating. And, particularly offensively, Koss made frequent visits to a casino where he gambled in excess of $250,000.
When eventually approached by the Social Security Administration for the return of the benefits he had received, Koss sent, as payment, a “false negotiable instrument purporting to draw on a trust account purportedly held at the United States Treasury. In actuality, the account did not exist.”
Mr. Koss’s theory on the validity of the account was based on anarchist conspiracy theories that “are totally without merit and have no basis in law or fact.”
After a three-day trial that began on February 19, 2013, the jury returned guilty verdicts. The sentencing hearing has not yet occurred, but Koss faces up to 61 years in federal prison without parole, along with up to $1.1 million in fines (in addition to the restitution of the SSDI payments).
From the amount of money fraudulently taken, to the extremely odd circumstances of the also fraudulent repayment, observers will hopefully see this as an example of what it is: a very extreme, unlikely, and not representative example of social security fraud.
For an article on the case, see: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/02/25/4086734/man-convicted-in-disability-fraud.html. For a related press release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, see: http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/news2013/koss.conv.html.