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US sen. from Pa.: Expand Social Security screening

A pilot program designed to prevent criminals from becoming managers of a person's Social Security benefits has screened out dozens of people convicted of fraud and violence.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A pilot program designed to prevent criminals from becoming managers of a person's Social Security benefits has screened out dozens of people convicted of fraud and violence.

That's according to U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, who wants the Social Security Administration to expand the program first implemented last summer in five states and Washington, D.C. Casey's office on Sunday provided The Associated Press with a draft of a letter he plans to send to Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue.

The Pennsylvania Democrat began pushing for tougher background checks after a convicted killer on parole allegedly kept several mentally disabled people captive in Philadelphia while cashing their benefits checks.

A Social Security spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment. Casey plans to discuss his letter at a news conference Monday.
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