SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home

PENALTIES FOR FRAUD

Sec811[42 U.S.C. 1011] (a) In General.—Whoever—

(1) knowingly and willfully makes or causes to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact in an application for benefits under this title;

(2) at any time knowingly and willfully makes or causes to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact for use in determining any right to the benefits;

(3) having knowledge of the occurrence of any event affecting—

(A) his or her initial or continued right to the benefits; or

(B) the initial or continued right to the benefits of any other individual in whose behalf he or she has applied for or is receiving the benefit, conceals or fails to disclose the event with an intent fraudulently to secure the benefit either in a greater amount or quantity than is due or when no such benefit is authorized; or

(4) having made application to receive any such benefit for the use and benefit of another and having received it, knowingly and willfully converts the benefit or any part thereof to a use other than for the use and benefit of the other individual,

shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) Court Order for Restitution.—

(1) In general.—Any Federal court, when sentencing a defendant convicted of an offense under subsection (a), may order, in addition to or in lieu of any other penalty authorized by law, that the defendant make restitution to the Commissioner of Social Security, in any case in which such offense results in—

(A) the Commissioner of Social Security making a benefit payment that should not have been made, or

(B) an individual suffering a financial loss due to the defendant’s violation of subsection (a) in his or her capacity as the individual’s representative payee appointed pursuant to section 807(i).

(2) Related provisions.—Sections 3612, 3663, and 3664 of title 18, United States Code[11], shall apply with respect to the issuance and enforcement of orders of restitution under this subsection. In so applying such sections, the Commissioner of Social Security shall be considered the victim.

(3) Stated reasons for not ordering restitution.—If the court does not order restitution, or orders only partial restitution, under this subsection, the court shall state on the record the reasons therefor.

(4) Receipt of restitution payments.—

(A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), funds paid to the Commissioner of Social Security as restitution pursuant to a court order shall be deposited as miscellaneous receipts in the general fund of the Treasury.

(B) Payment to the individual.—In the case of funds paid to the Commissioner of Social Security pursuant to paragraph (1)(B), the Commissioner of Social Security shall certify for payment to the individual described in such paragraph an amount equal to the lesser of the amount of the funds so paid or the individual’s outstanding financial loss as described in such paragraph, except that such amount may be reduced by any overpayment of benefits owed under this title, title II, or title XVI by the individual.


[11]  See Vol. II, 18 U.S.C. 3612, 3663, and 3664.