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Fraud in Social Security disability benefits
How much fraud is connected to social security disability benefits?
Well, at a congressional hearing Senator Tom Coburn said about 25 percent of the $130 billion spent each year on SSDI goes to paying out bogus claims.
At that same hearing, an investigation detailed how a group of doctors, a lawyer and a judge conspired to defraud the federal government out of millions of dollars.
As National Correspondent Kristine Frazao tells us -- it's difficult to root out such schemes.
White collar schemes to defraud the federal government are difficult to spot and extremely burdensome to prosecute.
"As long as you have that sense that I'm entitled to more, you are going to get fraud."
Malpractice Attorney Lon Engel, in this instance, is not even talking about the masses who steal federal benefits -- he's referring to small numbers of doctors, lawyers and judges who concoct brilliant plots to bilk millions of dollars at a time.
"For some people enough is not enough."
Following a two year investigation, Senator Tom Coburn appearing on CBS' "60 Minutes" program says he's seen enough to convince him that at least a third of the disability claims filed with the Social Security Administration are phony.
"My investigation tells me and my common sense tells me that we have a system that is being gamed pretty big right now."
"Will rooting out a few highly sophisticated criminals really slow an industry that often outsmarts the government?"
"Do I think it is going to have a positive effect on shutting a lot of it down? I do. Is it going to come back to some degree? Absolutely."
Engel says white collar criminals are like drug dealers in that they move on and change up their tactics.
Disability rights organizations have slammed Senator Coburn's investigation saying it serves to perpetuate myths about the disabled and exaggerates fraud and abuse of the program.