The accused is a veteran soldier. He received Disability Support Pension but he was allowed to work. He was told that he needed to report his earnings to Social Services so that his pension will be reduced depending upon his reported earnings. The accused reported his earnings but understated the amount he received as wages. Thus, on two occasions, he received Disability Support Pension at a rate higher than he deserved after having understated his earnings. He was then charged with two counts of Social Security fraud. He pleaded guilty.
The penalty for the crime is 12 months for each count. He was sentenced to serve 5 months in custody after which, he will pay a bond for good behaviour but he will be released on self-recognizance for a period of 12 months during which time he will be supervised by the Probation and Parole Service.
The accused is 50 years old. He had been convicted of theft, receiving and possessing stolen property, fraud and obtaining property through deception. He is addicted to heroin since the time that he came home from his tour of duty in Southeast Asia. He has a job and was well-liked by the people he worked with. He suffers from depression, anxiety, diabetes and hypertension. He is single and he has no dependents. The Court also took into consideration the amount of money he obtained through the fraud which was $27,000. The Court then convicted the accused but reduced his penalty in accordance with his plea of guilty.
The crime of social security fraud is a serious offense. There are two charges. This crime imposes upon all the taxpayers and must be deterred. The Court however, appreciated that the accused did report his earnings although he underreported the amount. The accused characterizes his acts as a “serious lack of judgment”. For this reason, instead of suspending his sentence, the Court ordered him to serve at least 5 months of his sentence in custody and 12 months under supervision of the Probation and Parole Service all through the time that he is released on self-recognizance.