Facebook Loses Appeal on New York State Search Warrants

If you are committing Social Security fraud, it is not wise to post photos illustrating those acts to Facebook, and this is now especially true in New York state.

If you are committing Social Security fraud, it is not wise to post photos illustrating those acts to Facebook, and this is now especially true in New York state.

Reuters reported that a New York state appeals court denied Facebook’s request to challenge search warrants from prosecutors in the state investigating Social Security fraud.

According to Reuters, Facebook was served with the warrants by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in 2013, as part of an investigation of dozens of users who were later indicted for Social Security fraud, including police officers and firefighters who claimed they were unable to work due to injuries or ailments resulting from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Facebook turned the evidence over last year but continued to pursue its appeal, according to Reuters.

The incriminating evidence included Facebook photos of those indicted users partaking in activities such as riding jet skis, playing golf and participating in martial-arts events, despite claims that they were unable to work, Reuters reported.

A Facebook spokesman told Reuters the company disagreed with the court’s decision and was considering another appeal, while a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office said nearly $25 million had been recovered from users who were targeted in the probe, adding:

In many cases, evidence on their Facebook accounts directly contradicted the lies the defendants told to the Social Security Administration.

New York Civil Liberties Union lawyer Mariko Hirose told Reuters the court “sidestepped” a key issue by ruling on Facebook’s right to challenge the warrants, instead of the legality of the warrants.

Readers: What are your thoughts on this case?

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