PENALTIES FOR FRAUD[107]

Sec1632[42 U.S.C. 1383a] (a) Whoever—

(1) knowingly and willfully makes or causes to be made any false statement or representation of a material fact in any application for any benefit 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 rights to any such benefit,

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

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

(5) conspires to commit any offense described in any of paragraphs (1) through (3)[108],

shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, except that in the case of a person who receives a fee or other income for services performed in connection with any determination with respect to benefits under this title (including a claimant representative, translator, or current or former employee of the Social Security Administration), or who is a physician or other health care provider who submits, or causes the submission of, medical or other evidence in connection with any such determination, such person shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than ten years, or both.[109]

(b)(1) 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 1631(a)(2).

(2) Sections 3612, 3663, and 3664 of title 18, United States Code[110], 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) If the court does not order restitution, or orders only partial restitution, under this subsection, the court shall state on he record the reasons therefor.

(4)(A) 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) 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 VIII by the individual.

(c) Any person or entity convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this section or section 208 may not be certified as a representative payee under section 1631(a)(2).


[107]  See Vol. II, 18 U.S.C. 1028 and 1738, with respect to penalties relating to use of identification documents.

[108]  P.L. 114–74, §813 (a)(3); reorganized subsection (a), inserted paragraph (5). Effective November 2, 2015

[109]  P.L. 114–74, §813 (b)(3); inserted into subsection (a) text following “5 years, or both”. Effective November 2, 2015

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