LONDON — Federal indictments accuse 14 people across areas of eastern Kentucky of defrauding health care and social security benefit programs. One of those individuals is Bell County resident Herman Caldwell, 65.
Caldwell was indicted on charges of theft of government property and false statements. He is alleged to have committed Social Security Insurance fraud in the amount of $104,888.
The defendants were charged in 11 indictments that were returned Thursday by a federal grand jury in London. The indictments allege the defendants defrauded one or more of the assistance programs out of more than a million dollars combined. According to the indictments, the defendants stole from the Social Security Administration (SSA), Kentucky Department of Medicaid Services (DMS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) for periods of a few years to as long as approximately two decades in one instance.
The indictments charge the defendants, ranging from 25 to 70 years of age with Social Security benefit fraud, Supplemental Security Income benefit fraud, theft of government property, health care fraud, and making false statements.
Most of the indictments allege the defendants intentionally concealed their true living arrangements from Social Security agents for years. Many are alleged to have falsely reported they were separated from their spouse when in reality they were living with their spouse and receiving financial support from them.
Hiding these facts allowed the defendants to continue receiving financial assistance from DMS and SSA when they were not eligible for the programs.
The Social Security Administration offers a benefit program known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which provides financial support to disabled people with limited or no income or resources. Based on an agreement between Kentucky and the SSA, Kentuckians who are eligible for SSI also qualify for Medicaid coverage.
Kerry B. Harvey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Guy P. Fallen, Special Agent in Charge from the Social Security Administration, jointly announced the indictments.
These cases were investigated by the SSA. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen C. Smith and W. Sam Dotson represented the U.S. Attorney’s Office in these cases.
The health care fraud and theft of government property charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The charges of Social Security fraud and making false statements carry a maximum of 5 years in prison.
The indictment of a person by a grand jury is an accusation only, and that person is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.