I-1-3-3.Actions Subject to Criminal Prosecution for Fraud
Last Update: 12/13/13 (Transmittal I-1-69)
18 U.S.C. §§ 201, 205, 208, 287, 1001, 1028(d), and 1341
The Social Security Act prescribes criminal penalties for violation of its provisions concerning fraud, disclosure of certain information, and representation. Not only do these provisions protect the public and the integrity of the claims process, but Federal law generally prohibits acts involving false claims against the government and false or fraudulent statements made in matters before a government agency.
B. Actions Subject to Criminal Prosecution
A party may be subject to criminal prosecution even when the attempted fraud is unsuccessful. The penalty upon conviction for violation of the criminal provisions of the Social Security Act or Title 18 of the United States Code may be a fine, imprisonment, or both.
The following actions are subject to criminal prosecution for fraud:
Furnishing false information of identity in connection with the establishment and maintenance of Social Security Administration (SSA) records, or with the intent to gain information as to the date of birth, employment, wages, or benefits of any person;
Forging or falsifying SSA documents;
Conspiring to obtain or allow a false, fictitious, or fraudulent claim;
Using a Social Security number obtained on the basis of false information or falsely using the Social Security number of another person, for the purpose of obtaining or increasing a payment under Social Security or any other federally funded program, or for any other purpose;
Altering, buying, selling, or counterfeiting a Social Security card;
Disclosing, using, or compelling the disclosure of the Social Security number of any person for unauthorized purposes;
Making or causing to be made a false statement or representation of a material fact for use in determining rights to Social Security benefits, Medicare, or Supplemental Security Income;
Making or causing to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact in any application for any payment or for a disability determination under the Social Security Act;
Making or causing to be made any false statement or representation as to whether wages were paid or received, the amount of such wages, the period during which wages were paid or received, or the person to whom such wages were paid;
Making or causing to be made any false statement or representation as to whether net earnings from self-employment were received, the amount of such earnings, the period during which such earnings were received, or the person who received them;
Concealing or failing to report any event affecting the initial or continued right to payment received or to be received by a person individually or on behalf of another;
Converting all or any part of a payment received on behalf of a beneficiary to a use other than for the use and benefit of that beneficiary;
Falsely representing oneself to be an employee of the U.S. Government;
Accessing SSA computer records without authorization;
Disclosing unauthorized information from SSA's systems of records; and
Receiving or soliciting a bribe, illegal gratuity, or contribution to or supplementation of salary for U.S. Government service.