Rutledge Announces Nearly $72,000 Restitution for Social Security Fraud
Arkansas Attorney General vosw to ‘punish criminals who receive Social Security benefits based on deception and deceit’
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced a Sebastian County man has been sentenced for social security fraud.
Carl Smith, 43, from Fort Smith, pleaded guilty in February to one count of making a false statement.
He has been sentenced to 13 months in prison, three years on probation and ordered to pay $71,946 in restitution to the Social Security Administration.
“I will not tolerate individuals who commit fraudulent activities to steal from taxpayers,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Investigators in my office work closely with federal authorities to crack down and punish criminals who receive Social Security benefits based on deception and deceit.”
Law enforcement officers from the Arkansas Cooperative Disability Investigation (CDI) Unit conducted the investigation. The CDI Unit is a cooperative effort supported by the Social Security Administration, Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General (SSA-OIG), the Arkansas Attorney General and Arkansas’s Disability Determination for Social Security Administration (DDSSA). The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carly Marshall from the Office of United States Attorney Duane (DAK) Kees.
Two special agents and an analyst from the Attorney General’s Office are assigned to Arkansas’s CDI Unit which began operation in October 2015 as a state and local cooperative effort funded by the Social Security Administration.
The mission of the CDI Unit is to combat fraud by investigating questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers, interpreters or other service providers who facilitate or promote disability fraud.
In other news, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge:
• announced that the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Indiana signed the consent judgment negotiated by 16 state attorneys general and Medical Informatics Engineering Inc. The lawsuit, led by Indiana and Arkansas, was first filed in December of 2018 against a web-based electronic health records company based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The company allegedly sustained a data breach compromising the data of more than 3.9 million people. Arkansas will receive a $112,950 payment due to the defendants’ conduct.
“Arkansans have enough to worry about in their daily lives, but protecting their deeply personal health insurance information should never be a concern,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Technology is rapidly changing, and protecting users from data breaches must always be a top priority for companies as they expand their reach and platform. Today’s historic multistate action reaffirms our dedication to consumer protection.”
The lawsuit resolved allegations that Medical Informatics Engineering and NoMoreClipboard LLC violated provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as well as state claims including unfair and deceptive practice laws, notice of data breach statutes, and state personal information protection acts. Between May 7, 2015, and May 26, 2015, hackers infiltrated WebChart, a web application run by Medical Informatics Engineering. The hackers stole the electronic protected health information of more than 3.9 million individuals – including individual names, telephone numbers, mailing addresses, usernames, hashed passwords, security questions and answers, spousal information (name and potentially dates of birth), email addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, lab results, health insurance policy information, diagnoses, disability codes, doctors’ names, medical conditions, and children’s names and birth statistics. This case was the nation’s first-ever multistate lawsuit involving a HIPAA-related data breach.
• issued a statement following the news on the passing of former Senator Linda Collins.
“I was shocked and saddened to learn of Linda’s tragic death,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Always a stalwart conservative, Linda was dedicated to serving Arkansans and was a dear friend to so many. Boyce and I send our deepest prayers and sympathy to Linda’s family and friends.”
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.