Can someone pay off government debts with money from a “birthright trust” that the U.S. Treasury sets up for each child born in this country?
Nope, prosecutors said Tuesday. There is no such thing.
But that didn’t stop Charles Daniel Koss from giving it a try, they alleged.
A federal grand jury indicted the 62-year-old Independence man Wednesday for trying to use a “Registered Private Money Order” drawn on just such a non-existent trust account to repay $212,768 in disability benefits that he had allegedly defrauded from the Social Security Administration.
According to Koss’ theory, which prosecutors declared as “bogus,” the U.S. government pledged its citizens as collateral when it abandoned the gold standard in 1933 so it could continue to borrow money. As part of the alleged scheme, the government created so-called “straw man” accounts within the U.S. Treasury corresponding to each newborn citizen.
“The theory also claims that through obscure procedures under the (Uniform Commercial Code), a citizen can ‘reclaim’ the ‘straw man’ and write negotiable instruments against its accounts,” court records said.
Such theories “are totally without merit and they have no basis in law or fact,” the indictment alleged. “Individuals often use these ideas to further various fraudulent schemes.”
Koss is charged in the five-count indictment with theft of government money, Social Security disability fraud, passing an illegal financial security or instrument and mail fraud.
Prosecutors alleged that Koss’ issues began when he claimed a disability benefit but continued to work with his wife at a mortgage and real estate business in Blue Springs.
Koss has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached for comment. He filed suit in federal court last year, asking a federal judge to block Social Security’s Office of Inspector General from seeking access to his bank records. The judge denied the request.
Koss contended in the suit that Social Security had accepted his payoff of the debt on May 13, 2010, the same day that, prosecutors alleged Wednesday, he mailed the “Registered Private Money Order” to the government.