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March 28, 2023

Internal Revenue Service Employee Defrauds Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits Program

On January 26, 2023, in the Western District of Missouri, Niche Taylor was indicted for wire fraud, theft of Government money, social security fraud, and bankruptcy fraud.  Taylor perpetrated a scheme in which she received approximately $57,343.85 in Title II Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
According to the court documents, between May 2014 and July 2018, Taylor devised a scheme to defraud the SSDI program by making materially false and fraudulent pretenses and representations concerning her employment status. The SSDI program provides monthly cash benefits for eligible individuals who are disabled under the Social Security Administration (SSA) rules and unable to work due to their disability. However, SSDI applicants and beneficiaries are obligated to self-report changes in information they provide to the SSA that could impact either their award or continued receipt of monthly SSDI benefits. These changes are subject to reporting regardless of the amount of earnings or the improved condition and health of the SSDI applicant or beneficiary.

Prior to the scheme, in October 2009, Taylor applied for SSDI benefits and stated she was unable to work because of her disabling condition. The SSA sent Taylor a Notice of Award informing her she was entitled to monthly SSDI benefits. The Notice of Award further stated, “The decisions we made on your claim are based on information you gave us. If this information changes, it could affect your benefits. For this reason, it is important that you report changes to us right away.” As part of the scheme and artifice to defraud, in October 2016, Taylor did not contact the SSA to self-report her employment with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which allowed Taylor to fraudulently collect monthly SSDI payments for her own financial use and personal gain.

If convicted, Taylor could receive up to 20 years’ imprisonment for each count of wire fraud, 10 years’ imprisonment for theft of government money, and five years’ imprisonment each for social security and bankruptcy fraud.

Source:  The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available document: W.D. Mo., Indict., filed Jan. 26, 2023.