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Friday, 9 October 2015

Half Century Of Criminality

Time was, that when a person lived to be 100 years of age, it was so unusual that the reigning monarch would congratulate them, and their name would enter a select band of a few hundreds, who were then at that stage of their life. Now, that figure of hundreds of centenarians alive, has risen to thousands of pensioners of that age. This has led the monarch to have to increase the number of staff who deal with the 'official' congratulations, but also has uncovered an anomaly.

Projected Centenarians In UK

The anomaly, was uncovered when a Conservative MP asked the Department of Works and Pensions how many people over the age of one hundred and above, were claiming state retirement pensions. The question was innocent enough, and the answer was expected to be around 14,450 pension claimants (give to take a hundred or so, as paper work caught up with both those reaching that age, and those dying off), and thus in line with those actually known to be alive in the UK and of that age.

But to everyone's surprise, the difference in the figures of those, known to be aged one hundred and above, and those claiming a pension while claiming to be over one hundred, was "significantly" larger in favour of those claiming state benefits, i.e. than those known to actually be alive. In fact it was many thousands more ..... this it seems, is the tip of a massive fraud being carried out by UK residents, many of whom are collecting retirement pensions of up to £6,000 pa on behalf of their 'elderly relatives', many if not all of whom, will have long since died (many may well have died decades ago) ... in these cases, it's thought to be mainly UK residents whose relatives lived (and died), abroad as ex-pats. This is because its hard (but not impossible), to hide a dead person from the various welfare authorities in the UK.

The Secretary of State for the DWP, Iain Duncan Smith, said that where they believed there to be fraud being committed payments are suspended and investigations undertaken. However he hasn't said what will happen with these thousands of potential frauds, which could be costing the tax payer many millions of pounds per annum, and in which in some cases could have been going on for many decades.

This type of benefit fraud, and greed by relatives of the deceased, is an increasing phenomena across the globe .... a recent scandal in Greece, found that up to 120,000 dead elderly relatives, were still having their pensions claimed for by greedy Greeks (that explains at least some of their money problems).

Police Suspected This Man Had Been Dead A While ...

In Japan in 2010, it was found that more than 230,000 elderly people were listed as being aged one hundred or over, and were unaccounted for. Many had apparently died in their 70's of 80's, but this remained undetected, and pension benefits had continued to be claimed .... the scandal only broke after one of these deceased, Mr Sogen Kato, had apparently officially become the oldest person alive in the world, and the family then immediately tried to claim that he had died shortly afterwards. But medical examiners found a desiccated corpse that had partially mummified, and had obviously been dead for many years .... a wider investigation by Japanese benefit officials after this 'death', found that officially, 77,000 Japanese citizens were being reported to welfare authorities to be over the age of 120 years of age, and a further 884 persons were still claiming benefits, apparently aged over 150 years in age.

Apart from the fact that the Guinness book of records would have their work cut out, if these ages were true, it also shows that the benefit fraud was a family tradition, going back generationally into the 1980's or earlier.

In the USA, between 2006 and 2011, 66,920 people filed tax returns using a Social Security number for someone born before the 16th of June, 1901. Thus meaning that these are people would now be aged 113 and older. Furthermore, those "centenarians", collectively reported $3.1 billion in wages, tips and self-employment income. Some of these are obviously simply tax frauds, using dead peoples records to make tax statements, a scam made far easier by the fact that a larger government audit found that there were still 6.5 million active Social Security numbers for people born before June 16, 1901. All of which have no verified or even recorded date of death. In the US, these deaths are recorded on the federal administration's "Numident" system, and without a date of death properly noted in the database, government agencies and other entities inquiring wouldn't necessarily know an individual was deceased.

This is all pretty funny, especially when you consider that as of March 2015, according to the Gerontology Research Group who track these persons, only 39 known living individuals worldwide are believed to be aged 112 or older. What I found most amazing, is that all those benefit officials across these countries who administer these pension claims, had not questioned any of the claims ... not once had they wondered about even the 150 year olds that they were paying benefits out for, even while it was announced on TV that the oldest person alive each year was 113 or 119 etc.

I have always suspected that many civil servants worldwide, are a little bit thicker than we might hope for in our officials, but it takes rather monumental stupidity not to suspect something was odd as these people broke age record after age record, and it never once featured on TV.

If our recently uncovered UK benefit scam, is merely of the same order of magnitude of just the Greek scandal, then at say 100,000 claimants, the costs could be over £600 million pounds per annum ... now we expect that the discrepancy in the figures uncovered, was probably in the tens of thousands (or hopefully less), rather than in hundreds of thousands, but even so, at say 12,000 ex-pats who have long since died, but for whom their families are still claiming pensions, then it would be a £72 million per annum figure.

I would like to suggest to all welfare benefit departments worldwide, that you check what the oldest living persons DOB is, and then run a computer check to see how many live pension or tax claims that you hold that equal or exceed that date ..... all that you are find are frauds.

However, what this all actually suggests is that there may be many millions who have died worldwide, and whose deaths have not been reported to the relevant authorities, and for whom pensions are still being claimed by relatives, even for pensioners who are still not centarians.

4 comments:

  1. These fraudulent claims were uncovered through statistical analysis presumably using the bell curve and reminds me of the story of the mathematics student who used his brother's small business to test Benford's law and discovered that his brother was cooking the books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll take your word that the preponderance of a leading 1 in number set can prove fraud ... except that maybe when number sets don't obey that law I guess it shows they have been manipulated? As for how these pension frauds are uncovered, well its all Greek to me!

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    2. That's exactly it; when a list of numbers, such as a company's financial records, don't comply to Benford's Law there's something amiss. See Zipf's Law for the vocabulary equivalent which holds for most languages.

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    3. Eeek .... I make it a policy to only accept one new law in a post!

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