Health and Family Services Cabinet
Shelby County Grand Jury Indicts Six for Welfare Fraud
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 19, 2007) – An investigation by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) resulted in the indictment of six people on seven felony charges of public assistance fraud totaling over $33,000.
“The Fletcher administration and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services continue to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse. The new methods for detecting fraud and abuse implemented during the past three years clearly are working,” said CHFS Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell.
Jenny Konkle, who currently lives in Ohio but resided in Shelby County from May 2001 through June 2006, was indicted by a Shelby County Grand Jury on two counts of public assistance fraud. Konkle, 34, is accused of “devising a scheme with intent to defraud” in order to unlawfully receive $16,062 in medical assistance, $14,654 in food stamp benefits and $2,427 from the Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program from July 2001 through May 2006. Konkle provided false information to the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) regarding household income and the number of people residing with her. Konkle failed to report Anthony Rodriguez, the father of her children, was living in the household and his income.
Rodriguez, 40, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was also indicted and charged with one count of public assistance fraud when he “devised or planned a scheme” to allow Konkle to obtain benefits from an assistance program by means of false representation or was intentionally engaged in conduct that advanced the scheme.
In addition, four other people were indicted for complicity to public assistance fraud for providing false information to DCBS in order for Konkle to receive public assistance.
Glenna Gail Shuck, 60, Shelby County, was Konkle’s landlord and allegedly submitted false statements indicating Rodriguez was not living in the Konkle household.
Barbara Lewis, 33, Henry County, was a close friend of Konkle and allegedly submitted false statements indicating Konkle had no income and Rodriguez was not living in the Konkle household.
Barbara Ann Lewis, 66, Henry County, allegedly signed a household composition verification document that she knew to be false indicating Rodriguez was not living in the Konkle household.
Ruth Bohannon, 67, Shelby County, allegedly signed false documentation that she knew to be false verifying Konkle had no income and Rodriguez was not living in the household.
Warrants were issued for Konkle and Rodriguez from Shelby Circuit Court and served Jan. 3 when both Konkle and Rodriguez turned themselves in to the Shelby County Sheriff. Both defendants were released on bond and are scheduled to appear in Shelby Circuit Court Jan. 22.
Criminal summonses were issued for Shuck, B. Lewis, B.A. Lewis and Bohannon and they are scheduled to be arraigned in Shelby Circuit Court Jan. 22.
Randy Compton, an investigator with OIG’s Division of Special Investigations, which conducted the investigation, and the Shelby County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office worked collaboratively to present this case to the Shelby County Grand Jury in December.
"Top priorities of the Office of Inspector General include the detection, investigation and prevention of fraud and abuse," Acting Inspector General Steven D. Davis said. "Resources for health and welfare programs are precious and limited, so it is crucial that we vigorously protect taxpayer money and seek prosecution of the culpable party. Ultimately, those who choose to commit fraud in Kentucky’s health and welfare programs are victimizing the citizens of the commonwealth, which deprives benefits to those who legitimately qualify.”
Often fraud and abuse investigations begin with a tip from the general public.
“Citizens can and do play a critical role in detecting and preventing fraud and abuse by simply reporting known or suspected fraud and abuse,” said OIG Assistant Director of Special Investigations Ed Barnes. “Some of our best cases are started by hotline calls.”
Examples of health and welfare programs include Medicaid; the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program; the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutritional program; Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program; and the Food Stamp Program.
Welfare fraud allegations are investigated by OIG’s Division of Special of Investigations with investigators assigned throughout the commonwealth. If you suspect someone of Medicaid or welfare fraud, call the Fraud and Abuse Hotline’s toll-free number anytime at (800) 372-2970. Those reporting fraud and abuse never have to give their name.