The Federal government certainly is a well oiled machine. Do they ever do anything right? They can’t figure out they have been paying a dead person for 23 years? All you Boomers should be happy. You’re going to get your Social Security payments even after you die. So stop bitching.

And now we are handing over our healthcare to these government drones. What could possibly go wrong?

NOTHING TO CUT: Meet the Multi-Millionaire Who Collected His Dead Mom’s Social Security Checks for 23 Years

Guest post by Laura Trueman

The 2014 omnibus bill contains an increase in funding for running the Social Security Administration (SSA). Maybe now they can stop paying Social Security benefits to dead people.

According to a December Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, SSA systems do not accurately note and confirm the deaths of beneficiaries, resulting in payments being made to dead people—sometimes for decades. The flawed system doesn’t just impact Social Security payments, either. Multiple other federal agencies that pay benefits—from federal pensions to payments to farmers and the disabled—rely on SSA’s flawed death data.Collecting Dead Mother’s Social Security for 23 Years. Raymond O’Dell made news this week when he was sentenced for collecting his dead mother’s Social Security benefits for 23 years. O’Dell collected $188,000 in benefits, while building a successful Taco Bell franchise. His accountant put his net worth at $4 million (including $431,000 in cash). This week, he was sentenced to pay back the benefits, along with a $20,000 fine, and will serve six months in prison.

O’Dell is not unique. In Washington state, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan convicted five people for collecting a dead parent’s Social Security benefits. One man personally disposed of his mother’s body in a rural area and never reported her death; he collected her benefits for 9 years. More examples are cited in the SSA’s “Deceased Payee Fraud; Strange But True,” released this month.

As Durkan noted, “Cheaters shred the safety net for those that really need it…and need to know prison and hefty fines wait at the end of the scheme.” The SSA has the Office of Inspector General Fraud Hotline for reporting suspected fraud. That’s good, but it isn’t enough.

Getting a Handle on the Problem. The SSA receives and processes death reports from a variety of sources, including states, family members, funeral directors, post offices, financial institutions, and other federal agencies. It’s a big job: In 2012, seven million deaths were reported to the SSA; overall, they manage the death records for some 98 million people.

The GAO reports that the agency does not verify the death reports from all of its sources. The SSA has no clue how accurate the unverified reports are because, according to the GAO, the agency has “never performed an analysis validating the accuracy of the various sources of death reports.”

The GAO checked on a random sample of the SSA’s death reports and found problems:

  • Notice of about 500 deaths came to the SSA long after the person’s death; in fact 200 were 10 or more years after the fact, meaning that all kinds of benefits could have been flowing unchecked for years.
  • Another 150 people were apparently engaged in “back to the future” time travel—their date of death was BEFORE their date of birth.
  • Almost 2000 broke or nearly broke Guinness records—living between 115 and 195 years.

The GAO made some recommendations on how to improve the SSA systems, and maybe things will improve. It should be noted that, while the GAO focused on the SSA’s struggles with the death reports it received, Raymond O’Dell and a slew of others kept their relative’s death from being reported.

In the omnibus appropriations Congress passed this week, they offered their usual solution—more money—increasing the agency’s budget by $651 million. Oklahoma’s Senator Tom Coburn (R) and a few others are pushing the SSA to fix this and other fraud in benefit programs. As The Wall Street Journal notes, these members “are voices crying in the wilderness” as Congress focuses on spending more money, not making existing agencies and programs work better.
Read more at The Foundry.


  1. Yes, there are people that collect SS monies not due them and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, but what about the SS checks and tax refunds that are sent out to people that don’t exist or are illegal aliens? Are those checks ever cashed? Or is it some kind of gov $$ giveaway “under the radar”?

    Remember this story?


    “The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

    That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of “unauthorized” alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to “unauthorized” aliens were in Atlanta.”

    Prolly some kind of back door Pigford type settlement for the brothers and sisters down for the struggle.

  2. Union government drones get paid no matter how many checks they send out. Do you think they care if they are sending checks out to dead people for 20 years? A government drone cares about two things, and two things only. 1, how to increase their pay grade, because making 65% more than somebody in the private sector is never enough. and 2, how many days are left until the turn 50 and retire with a massive pension, free healthcare, and can start taking cruises and enjoy the good life. Just like the criminals politicians, they don’t give a fuck how much of other people’s money they piss away.

  3. Social Security is doing exactly what it was designed to do – stealing from the many and paying off the few. The small amount stolen by false claims is nothing compared to how much the government spends of our money.

    Its just another income tax.

  4. “Steals $188k and gets six months. Fuck me.”

    The punishment Raymond O’Dell received hit me exactly the opposite way it hit you. In other words, starting with the judge at O’Dell’s trial, “Can’t ANYONE in government do ANYTHING that makes sense?”

    Look the guy bilked the SSA out of a $188,000, yet his accountant said O’Dell had $431,000 cash on hand. So charge the guy $188,000, which he was, PLUS INTEREST for his perfidy over those 23 years. He’ll pay up, believe me, because the IRS might be able to nail him if he didn’t report those Social Security checks as income (yes, they can come after you for not declaring income even if you made it illegally). Bingo, the government might actually make some money off this cheater.

    Forget the fucking $20,000 fine and six months in jail. It’ll probably cost $20,000 to put in him jail for six months, so that’s a wash. How about probation and 500 or so hours of closely supervised community service, say at a government-sponsored food bank or painting the fucking courthouse or whatever? Make HIM pay back the taxpayers with free labor for his misdeed.

    The guy does not appear to be a physical threat to his fellow citizens, from what little we know from the article, and runs a successful business that employs people. So make him pay dearly with his time and money and forget the rest of that shit.

    Am I the only person who can think clearly on this site?

  5. I might suggest, as is the case with my pension, that you could require everybody who collects a SS check to provide a notarized card every year or two to prove you are still alive. But of course, that would be racist.

  6. I believe SS checks are mailed monthly.

    So this fucktard actually committed a crime EACH and EVERY time he cashed a check … or, 276 times. And for this he gets 6 months????

    We had to go to the DMV yesterday because Ms Freud’s license was suspended. She bought a new car. The insurance company ERRONEOUSLY reported that her insurance lapsed on the old car. She had to pay $125 fucking dollars to get re-instated due to THEIR error.

    But my point is The Letter we received from the DMV ….. which notified Ms Freud of her suspension along with the following threat ……… that if she caught driving with a suspended license she could get FIVE YEARS in jail.

    Fuck America.

  7. “We had to go to the DMV yesterday because Ms Freud’s license was suspended. She bought a new car. The insurance company ERRONEOUSLY reported that her insurance lapsed on the old car. She had to pay $125 fucking dollars to get re-instated due to THEIR error.”

    That’s the most discombobulated paragraph you’ve ever written. Why was her license suspended? Due to whose error? The insurance company? DMV? Do New Jersey state laws REQUIRE insurance companies to report to its DMV when a licensed driver fails to keep auto insurance current? Do you have PROOF that Ms. Freud’s auto insurance was kept up to date on payments? If so, then you’re a pussy for paying the $125.

    TBP’s Official Jailhouse Lawyer

  8. SSS

    Yes. In NJ insurance companies report lapsed policies directly to the DMV.

    Ms. Freud told the insurer to ADD the new car while still keeping the insurance on the old car. (We haven’t turned it in yet.) They added the new car, and reported the old car as a “non payment” (lapsed). Unfuckingreal.

    Yes, we had proof. Getting it re-instated tool all of 5 minutes.

    The choices we had; 1) pay the $125, 2) go fuck ourselves. Does that make us pussies? Maybe the DMV is Arizona is kind, gentle, and understanding. The DMV in NJ is like dealing with a mob crime boss.

  9. SSS – I have no problem pursuing him for interest and tax fraud. Heap it on. Tax fraud could send him to jail for a few years.

    But, damn, you advocate letting people go who steal hundreds of thousands of dollars? That is, well, dumb.

    Extrapolating your position, I guess that bankers who steal millions should not go to jail, either? I mean, they are not physical threats to anyone, either.

    Fuck that. Put the bastards in jail for 10 or 20 years. There should be huge jail terms, preferably combined with public flogging, for anyone bilking taxpayers – be they Taco Bell owners, banksters, politicians, or your loal welfare baby mommas and daddies.

    And I am not kidding about the flogging – that would seriously be a deterrent.

  10. Bearded Clammy – honesty and integrity is working very well indeed for me personally. I truly believe that the root of my business success is that I behave, best I can, honestly and with integrity.

    And a person cannot try to be, in my opinion, partly honest and have partial integrity. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes and is influenced by their backgrounds and conditions. But anyone can try to be honest and of good character.

    I make every attempt to be honest and of good character. And so my business associates trust me. They do not always agree with me, but they know I do not lie or take unfair advantage. And so even though we may have brutal disagreements at times, they stick with me, and I to them. Unless they ever treat me dishonestly, in which case the relationship is ended.

    One thing that I do is that,as a rule, not only do I stand by what I say, I stand by what people believe I have said. There are times my employees/suppliers/customers have believed I have said or agreed to something that in fact I have not agreed to. Where ever possible, I stand by their belief of the agreement, not mine. My reputation is at stake, and I do not let people believe I have cheated them. I do this so long as I believe they are honest in their positions. It costs me money at the time, but it repays itself many, many times over.

  11. “The DMV in NJ is like dealing with a mob crime boss.”

    I still don’t understand your answer. If you have a copy of proof of a current payment to the insurance company that covered both vehicles, then it’s impossible some drone in the DMV could make you fork over another $125, regardless of a fuckup from the insurance company. If the preceding is true, did you ask to see a supervisor? If the response from that supervisor was unsatisfactory, did you ask to see his/her supervisor? I am married to a woman who doesn’t put up with that shit, and it’s fun to watch her in action. She NEVER loses.

    As for your quote that I cited above, the entire New Jersey state government is a mob boss. Your predicament is my amusement.

  12. SSS

    We had proof.

    They collected $125. They can do whatever the fuck they want. You simply don’t understand the level of NJ corruption.

    Our only recourse, which we shall pursue, is to get our account credited by Geico. If they refuse, i promise you I will kill that little fuckin Aussie lizard.

    I’m happy my travails amuse you. You have a one inch weenie, right? That amuses me.

  13. The Clam doesn’t have the same impact now that she is a regular person. It’s sort of like when El Santo took off his mask on TV. Taking off the mask is a Marvel trick to reveal the hero as a mere mortal, it doesn’t work in real life.

  14. Clammy – you follow me around like a little puppy. Admit it, you love me. You are addicted to this bad boy, and simply cannot get enough. You think if you play hard to get just maybe I will reverse course and lavish you with love and affection. I am sorry, but it is not going to happen.

    I advise you not to hold your breath. While it is understandable why you are wildly in love with me, seeing as I am all the things you are not – educated, successful, honest, and sexually clean – you do not understand that you simply have nothing that I want or need.

    Even when I was a young man, I would never have deigned to dip my wick in your wax. I always had better taste than that. Not to mention an aversion to communicable diseases.

    So please, please, for your own sake, focus on someone where your interests may be returned. May I recommend bb, who is surely most desperate, or perhaps Z – he claims he has skills to sate those such as yourself. And in a pinch, maybe Coyote would be willing to fid you a job in a Tijuana brothel – there you can make an honest living as well as enjoy your favorite pass-time.

    Go forth and find your own kind. You will be happier than spending time trying to woo one you cannot have.

  15. “But, damn, you advocate letting people go who steal hundreds of thousands of dollars? That is, well, dumb. Extrapolating your position, I guess that bankers who steal millions should not go to jail, either? I mean, they are not physical threats to anyone, either.”

    I advocate no such thing. I advocate letting judges be, well, judges.

    Raymond O’Dell is a far cry from Bernie Made Off With My Money. He stiffed the Social Security Administration for 188 grand. He can pay it back with interest. And he should. Madoff stiffed thousands of clients for BILLIONS of dollars and couldn’t pay it off if the government seized every nickel he had.

    O’Dell can make complete restitution to society and still pay a heavy penalty in the form of community service, PLUS probation and a felony conviction that will be on his record forever. Madoff can never undo the personal financial harm he caused to thousands of investors who fell for his criminal pyramid scheme. Never. He should die in prison. Period.

    The same reasoning applies to lesser people of a fraudulent nature. Some should be punished with heavy fines, property confiscations, probation and community service as the law permits, others should get the book thrown at them. As I said, let judges be judges.

    It’s called “Let the punishment fit the crime.” Now, you, of all people, wouldn’t advocate a “one shoe fits all” law, would you?

    This is part one of two to your comments.

  16. llpoh says:

    “And in a pinch, maybe Coyote would be willing to fid you a job in a Tijuana brothel ”

    Fuck you, you egomaniacal fucktard, I was in your camp all the way until this. WTF? Is this your version of throw the beaners into a fenced off Detroit? Who ever said I was interested in white poon? My wife is mulatto. The only way I was going to come in a white box was if I was buried in one. I have more pride than to be associated with no white bitch, unless she was a bit older, like over 50 and knew how to actually fuck without cue cards.

    Fuck you Llpoh, fuck you thrice, to coin a phrase.

  17. SSS – stealing $188k is a very significant crime. If we let him pay it back with a gentle slap on the wrist in fact it will only encourage theft. Hell, I will steal one million. If I get caught, well I only need to pay it back. If I do not, well goody for me. That is horsehockey.

    Seriously, $188k and 6 months jail – he will be out in two months. How about 20 years jail, no parole. That fits the crime. And let him do the time with Sheriff Arpaio. Then it will not cost the taxpayers much of anything.

    We really need to quit coddling criminals.

    And that you are proposing to punish folks by their ability to repay what they have stolen – no offense, but that is laughable. So if I steal something, so long as I can repay the money I do not go to jail. But if I steal something and cannot repay it I do.

    Seriously, you are not arguing that, are you? That the ability to make financial restitution mitigates jail time for the crime committed? Seriously?

  18. Coyote – you misunderstand me. I know you would not touch her with your ten inch pole. I said maybe you could find her a job in a brothel. Not the same at all. I just figured you might have connections that would be willing to give her an appropriate job.

  19. LIpoh ,so your saying I am desperate for what ? I have no need for much.Maybe I just like to play around to much on this site .I have to be so serious most of the day it’s a relief to joke around a little.Some people get mad as hell at me but that’s OK.

  20. Part two of two to Llpoh’s comments above.

    “I make every attempt to be honest and of good character.”

    And so you do, if I’ve read your past articles and comments correctly. There was another American whose life successfully reflected your comment. His name was George Washington.

    No one here, or anyone else thus far in the entirety of American history, can ever rise to Washington’s stature of honesty and good character. But it doesn’t hurt to try.

  21. SSS – all we can do is try. I do better than I used to. But not as well as I should. It has become easier given that I have seen it pay dividends. That is an unexpected benefit. You may lose in the short run, but it pays off in the long.

  22. Our only recourse, which we shall pursue, is to get our account credited by Geico. If they refuse, i promise you I will kill that little fuckin Aussie lizard. -Stuck

    Geico is owned by Buffet. He desperately needs your money for his hedge fund.

    And to that cast, we should add our Gecko. Neither rain nor storm nor gloom of night can stop him; the little lizard just soldiers on, telling Americans how they can save big money by going to GEICO.com.

    When I count my blessings, I count GEICO twice. ” -Warren Buffet

  23. .I have to be so serious most of the day it’s a relief to joke around a little -bb

    Yes, bb is great at poking me with a little fun.

  24. llpoh says:

    “Coyote – you would not touch the clammy (who can blame you) but you would do me three times. I am honored.”

    Only cause I love you.

  25. Don’t pay no mind to that imposter above. My boy is dee-vorced and lives with me. Now bb mind what mommy said about the devil women. They just want yore money.

  26. SSS says:

    Part two of two to Llpoh’s comments above.

    “I make every attempt to be honest and of good character.”

    “And so you do, if I’ve read your past articles and comments correctly”

    Llpoh’s example made the 34 missile dicks look that much worse for their cheating and cover-up efforts.

  27. See, Clammy, how easy it is to say “I love you” to dear Llpoh? Hate takes so much more energy. Of course you will have to cleanse yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, so to speak, I am sure Llpoh can forgive you at least by degrees until you finally renounce your checkered past.


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