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Tag Archives: social-security
Posted: December 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm
What factors should be considered in determining the length and terms of a sentence? Should a crimes violent or non-violent classification carry the most weight? Frank S. Perri offers that focusing too much on a crimes violent or non-violent nature can lead to a punishment too severe or not severe enough for the crime committed.
I certainly knew it was nefarious, a little wormy, unethical, make no mistake about that but criminal? Fraud?- Jay Jones, convicted white-collar criminal, as quoted in The New York Times Magazine
Jay Jones lived the good life; unfortunately, he bought it fraudulently. As a result of his behavior, he left at least 4,000 people jobless when the debt collection business he helped co-found went bankrupt, according to a June 6, 2004, article in The New York Times Magazine.1 He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud investors and was sentenced to five years in prison. He also owes about $1 billion in restitution to the victims of his fraud, according to the article. Was his sentence too light?
Consider the case of real estate attorney Chalana McFarland, who committed a myriad of fraudulent acts, including identity theft, illegal use of Social Security numbers, money laundering, and a mortgage scam that devastated lending institutions and families who bought homes, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.2 She was sentenced to 30 years in prison, even though she could have been sentenced to a life term and ordered to pay $12 million in restitution for the scheme that she controlled with the assistance of her co-conspirators, the press release said. Was her sentence too high?Although its reasonable to have a debate on what constitutes a proportionate and fair punishment to a fraud-based crime, anti-fraud professionals must be aware that the manner in which the debate on appropriate punishment is being framed can be misleading. One of the common arguments made by opponents advocating lenient sentences for convicted white-collar criminals is that their crimes are non-violent property crimes, and many are first-time offenders who dont fit the typical image of a street criminal. In this article, well address:
The inherent dangers of imposing punishment based on the premise that fraud is a non-violent property crime
Misperceptions surrounding the first-time offender argument in determining an appropriate punishment
Why white-collar crime sentencing might have increased over the years
DANGERS IN PUNISHING CRIME LABELSAND NOT THE HARM SUFFERED
I had no desire to live, no prospect of earning a living, no way to pay the bills. Retiree and Madoff fraud victim, as quoted in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law.
This quote exemplifies the voice of thousands recounting the personal and financial losses suffered when a trusted business advisor, professional, employee, business owner or other individual defrauds them. Psychiatrists Drs. Marilyn Price and Donna Norris wrote in their article in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, white-collar criminals commit crimes that have victims whose lives are significantly affected and, at times, destroyed by these acts.3 However, there are academicians in law who downplay frauds underlying harm by removing the human element and labeling it a non-violent property crime. They have written extensively on the topic, advocating that white-collar criminals should receive more lenient sentences because of the crimes non-violent distinction, according to law professor Ellen Podgor of Stetson University.4
Yet, whats misleading about their argument is the assumption that only violent criminals inflict harm thats worthy of extensive punishment. In part, the harm that fraud victims incur is downplayed because the majority of the research on victimology has focused on conventional non-white-collar crimes.5
Thus the degree of perceived harm suffered by victims of white-collar crimes is compared to the harms suffered by victims of non-white-collar crimes because theyre the largely accepted conventional construction of crimes in the public conscience.6
White-collar crime is considered a special breed in the criminal justice system because theres a long history of perceived leniency for these criminals; many erroneously believe that white-collar crimes have no victims.7
Also, fraud offenses arent consistently included in crime victim surveys because criminologist might perceive that there are no visible victims, or the social harm is diluted among a number of people.8 Thus, fraud victims whose harm hasnt been captured by surveys would naturally appear to be victimless when compared to victims of non-white-collar crimes.
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Posted: January 14, 2016 at 10:46 pm
Freedom AMERICA Inc. | Call us at 813-600-5314 (Brandon, FL), 863-682-6381 (Lakeland, FL)
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Our goal is to help you not worry about your money while you try to experience complete enjoyment during your retirement years. To schedule a FREE no-obligation consultation, please call us at: 813-600-5314 (Brandon office) 863-682-6381 (Lakeland office)
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Jonathan Jackson, president of Freedom America Inc. was recently featured on RETIREMENT NEWS TODAY. Click the videos tab to view these informative videos.
Protecting What’s Important to You
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For a married couple, the difference between a good Social Security election decision and a poor one is often well over $100,000! What’s At Stake For You?
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Freedom America, Inc.
Posted: August 8, 2015 at 1:40 pm
The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1977 by Edward H. Crane, who remained president and CEO for 35 years until 2012 when he was replaced by John A. Allison, and Charles Koch, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the conglomerate Koch Industries, Inc., the second largest privately held company (after Cargill) by revenue in the United States.
The Institute’s stated mission is “to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets, and peace” by striving “to achieve greater involvement of the intelligent, lay public in questions of policy and the proper role of government.” Cato scholars conduct policy research on a broad range of public policy issues, and produce books, studies, op-eds, and blog posts. They are also frequent guests in the media.
Cato scholars were critical of George W. Bush’s Republican administration (20012009) on several issues, including the Iraq War, civil liberties, education, agriculture, energy policy, and excessive government spending. On other issues, most notably health care, Social Security, global warming, tax policy, and immigration, Cato scholars praised Bush administration initiatives. During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Cato scholars criticized both major-party candidates, John McCain and Barack Obama.
The Cato Institute was named the fifth-ranked think tank in the world for 2009 in a study of leading think tanks by James G. McGann, Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania, based on a criterion of excellence in “producing rigorous and relevant research, publications and programs in one or more substantive areas of research”. It has been called “Washingtons premier libertarian think tank.”
Ronald Ernest Paul (born August 20, 1935) is a Republican United States Congressman from Lake Jackson, Texas, a physician, a bestselling author, and the fourth-place finisher in the 2008 Republican presidential primaries.
Originally from the Green Tree suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he graduated from Gettysburg College in 1957, then studied at Duke University School of Medicine; after his 1961 graduation and a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, he became a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon, serving outside the Vietnam War zone. He later represented Texas districts in the U.S. House of Representatives (19761977, 19791985, and 1997present). He entered the 1988 presidential election, running as the Libertarian nominee while remaining a registered Republican, and placed a distant third.
Posted: March 10, 2015 at 3:43 am
When you retire, you want to live like this guy.
Worried you wont have enough for a comfortable retirement? If youre willing to spend down your assets, as well as take a few other steps, you could boost your annual income by perhaps 30%.
Imagine a couple, both 62 years old. Well keep things simple and assume theres just one breadwinnerand well be politically incorrect and assume its the husband. They claim Social Security right away, even though they cant receive full benefits for another four years. He qualifies for $15,000 a year and his wife is eligible for spousal benefits worth $7,000.
Meanwhile, they own a $300,000 home with no mortgage and have $500,000 in savings. If they use the 4% portfolio withdrawal rate thats often recommended by financial planners, that $500,000 would generate $20,000 in first-year retirement income, with withdrawals rising in subsequent years along with inflation.
Add that to their Social Security and our hypothetical couple would have $42,000 a year. Heres how they could do better.
Paying to delay
Instead of claiming benefits at age 62, the husband files for Social Security at 66which is his full Social Security retirement agebut immediately suspends his benefit. This maneuver allows his wife to claim spousal benefits, which would be worth $10,000 a year, thanks to the four-year delay. Theres no point in postponing spousal benefits beyond full retirement age, because you dont get any further credit for delaying.
Meanwhile, the husband claims Social Security at age 70, the latest possible age. Because of the delay, he receives $26,400 a year, while also guaranteeing a larger survivor benefit for his wife, assuming he predeceases her.
The best annuity you can buy is Social Security, argues Baylor University investments professor William Reichenstein. The higher-income earner should delay benefits unless theyre both in poor health, because his benefit will be paid until the second spouse dies.
At age 70, our couple would have $36,400 in combined Social Security income. This figure is in todays dollars and ignores any intervening inflation-driven increases in Social Security benefits. To keep things simple, well also assume that their portfolios return rivals the inflation rate.
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How to pump up retirement income by as much as 30%
Posted: January 17, 2015 at 8:44 pm
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) A federal judge has postponed the Kansas trial of a man charged with assuming the identity of a dead Texas boy, giving the prosecution and defense time to obtain DNA that each side hopes will bolster their case.
While DNA evidence has long been a mainstay in other criminal trials, its use in an immigration-related identity theft case like the one filed against Teodoro Erasmo Luna is rare. Most such cases also don’t lend themselves to DNA testing because the government usually doesn’t have a way to get a comparative DNA sample.
In this case, the U.S. attorney’s office wants to compare the defendant’s DNA to the sisters of the child he is accused of impersonating, David Pena.
Luna is charged in a 17-count indictment with aggravated identity theft, misuse of a Social Security number, document fraud, making a false statement on a U.S. passport application, making a false claim of U.S. citizenship, among other related crimes.
The idea to use DNA testing was initially brought up by the prosecutor, and the judge agreed after the defense also asked the court to delay the Jan. 13 trial to allow time to conduct the test and receive results. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten said the DNA testing will help the parties reach a resolution and set March 24 as the new trial date.
Defense attorney Joel Mandelman declined to comment.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson said the case is unusual because Luna still claims to be “a person we know he is not.”
“The government has investigated this case extensively, and while it has substantial evidence of the defendant’s true identity, much of that evidence is based on the inadmissible testimony of the defendant’s true relatives, who appear to live in Mexico, cannot be located or cannot be compelled to come to the United States to testify,” Anderson argued in one court filing.
Prosecutors have been unable to locate Pena’s death certificate. So they asked the court to allow them to put on the stand the four sisters of David Pena to testify their brother was born in 1967 in McAllen, Texas, and died in Mexico when he was 5 years old. One of the sisters was expected to testify that she had visited her brother’s grave, but could not remember the name of the cemetery. Both of Pena’s parents are dead.
Luna’s defense attorney has objected to allowing the sisters’ testimony on the grounds that it was hearsay.
Posted: March 27, 2014 at 8:41 pm
Kevin Williamson, a libertarian-ish conservative writer for the National Review, wrote a bracingly honest assessment of the limited appeal of Rand Pauls ideology. (Short story: Most people really love the biggest government programs, like Social Security and Medicare.) This confession against ideological interest naturally antagonized Reasons Nick Gillespie, who is not only a libertarian-libertarian, but also deeply committed to his belief that libertarianism is always, just you wait and see, on the rise.
Gillespie counters Williamson with a sputtering piece arguing that Rand Paul is poised to seize the center of the American political debate with his innovative proposals, such as saving Ukraine by cutting aid to Ukraine. Gillespie bolsters his thesis with a random collage of factoids:
The one sort-of on-point factoid Gillespie offers is a poll conducted by the libertarian Reason foundation showing that, contrary to the overwhelming findings of pollsters everywhere, voters really do want to cut Medicare and Social Security. The unstated joke here, in case you didnt catch it, is that every interest group has its own handcrafted polls showing that, if you word the question in just the right way, overwhelming numbers of Americans agree with their position on any given issue. And sure enough, Reasons poll has its own wording that finds people are really keen to cut Social Security and Medicare. But this poll, just like every advocacy poll, is worthless, because in real politics, one side of the issue cant control the terms by which it will be debated.
The movie Divergent provides the frame for Gillespies paean to Paul. I have not seen the film. Apperently it describes a future in which people are slotted from birth into categories, and those who refuse to follow along are Marked for Death! This theme, explains Gillespie, sums up Rand Paul. Because obviously the clearest hallmark of an independent rebel is a candidate who has devoted his entire life to slavishly carrying out his fathers kooky dogma.
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Everybody Loves Libertarianism, Insists Libertarian
Posted: January 16, 2014 at 6:43 pm
According to a memorable summary of Newtons Third Law of Motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Perhaps someday geroscience the study of human aging and its impacts will identify a law similar to Newtons Third.
A recent article by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune described the emerging field of science surrounding aging. An Associated Press article predicting a global retirement crisis reinforced that notion.
The Herald-Tribune article focused on Florence Katz of Sarasota, a 98-year-old woman who remains happy, healthy and active.
She is not alone. Longevity has increased dramatically in the United States and the Western world. For millions of those older adults, life is good.
However, there are downsides to longevity difficulties associated with disabilities, health and memory problems, lack of long-term income.
Experts and demographers debate the details of life expectancies but, in general, there is no dispute about the aging of the planets population. Consider this: There are now more people older than 65 than people younger than 15.
Linda P. Fried, dean of public health at Columbia University, said the increase in life expectancy offers us a new stage … and were not very well prepared for it.
The AP article focused on a troubling and pervasive lack of preparation worldwide. The news service quoted Norman Dreger, a retirement specialist in Germany, who said, The first wave of underprepared workers is going to try to go into retirement and will find they cant afford to do so.
The political responses to such concerns usually involve debates over whether to raise the age for Social Security benefits or create a new program for younger Americans. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are vital components of the existing social safety net. Yet there are signs that those programs, designed decades ago, will not be sustainable in a radically different era without alterations.
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Editorial: Longevity brings new challenges
Posted: at 6:41 pm
80 NYPD and FDNY officers charged with disability fraud
On Tuesday, 80 retired New York City police officers and firefighters were charged with Social Security disability frauds. The sprawling, decades-long scheme…
By: gece m
Posted: February 25, 2013 at 6:55 pm
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will try to balance the rights of Americans who have not been convicted of a major crime to keep their DNA out of the government’s hands, against the government’s interest in closing cold cases and the rights of crime victims to finally see justice done.
Years ago, the Salisbury Police Department thought they had finally caught a break.
A man wearing a hat and scarf and brandishing a gun had raped and robbed a 53-year-old woman in her home and then vanished into the night. Almost six years later, Alonzo King was arrested in a nearby county and charged with felony second-degree assault. Taking advantage of a Maryland law that allowed DNA tests following felony arrests, police took a cheek swab of King’s DNA which matched a sample from the 2003 Salisbury rape. King was convicted of rape and sentenced to life in prison.
But then a Maryland court said they had to let him go.
King was never convicted of the crime for which he was arrested and swabbed. Instead, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of misdemeanor assault, a crime for which Maryland cannot take DNA samples. The courts said it violated King’s rights for the state to take his DNA based on an arrest alone. The state Court of Appeals said King had “a sufficiently weighty and reasonable expectation of privacy against warrantless, suspicionless searches.”
If the Supreme Court justices rule for King, more than 1 million DNA profiles that have been stored in a federal database for matching with future crime scene evidence may have to be purged and others will never be collected, leading some repeat offenders to go free, advocates say.
“The early collection of DNA prevents crime,” said William C. Sammons of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Had the recidivists been identified early in their career through arrestee collection, they would not have been able to commit the bulk of their crimes.”
But privacy activists see letting police use DNA information without a warrant or a conviction as another loss for American privacy, with Americans’ genetic information held by the government eventually being used for other purposes, just as Social Security numbers were originally not intended to be used for identification.
“Regardless of what the government does with the DNA sample and the limits it places on the sample’s use, all the highly personal data in it is in the government’s possession, and outside the individual’s control,” said Jennifer Lynch, lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Getting DNA swabs from criminals is common. All 50 states and the federal government take cheek swabs from convicted criminals to check against federal and state databanks, with the court’s blessing. But now, 28 states and the federal government now also take samples from people who have been arrested for various crimes, long before their guilt or innocence has been proven. According to court documents, the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System or CODIS — a coordinated system of federal, state and local databases of DNA profiles — contains more than 10 million criminal profiles and 1.1 million arrestee profiles.
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High Court takes up DNA sampling case
Posted: December 16, 2012 at 6:42 am
Bombing of Social security Building
On November 30,2012 Abdullatif Aldosary an Iraqi refugee who helped the United States in the uprising against Saddam Hussein in 1991 attempted to blow up a Social Security Building. It is said the Aldosary set off a bomb at a social security building in Casa Grande, Arizona then jumped into his car and drove off with his car ablaze. The mainstream media hasn't reported on the issue citing it would be politically incorrect.From:Daniel RichterViews:0 0ratingsTime:05:08More inNews Politics
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Bombing of Social security Building – Video