This is an excerpt from Acting Commissioner Colvin's written testimony given to the House Social Security Subcommittee today:
In fiscal year ( FY ) 2013, we made over 22,500 disability fraud referrals to the OIG [Office of Inspector General]; the OIG opened about 5,300 cases based on these referrals. To date, the OIG has referred over 100 of these cases to United States Attorneys’ Offices for criminal prosecution.If I understand this correctly, about 77% of the time when OIG is sent a disability fraud referral, OIG immediately decides that the fraud allegation has no merit and refuses to even open a file. Even when OIG opens a file, there's only a 1.8% chance that OIG will refer the case for criminal prosecution. In the end, 99.6% of the time that a disability fraud referral is made, OIG decides not to recommend prosection. Left unmentioned is the fact that even when OIG recommends prosecution sometimes the United States Attorneys refuse to prosecute the cases.
This can be interpreted in different ways but it's a fact that while there's a lot of disability fraud being alleged, only a tiny, tiny percentage of those allegations result in prosecution.