SSI ‘Processing Fee’ Prompts Federal Charges
A Social Security claims representative is facing federal charges for allegedly imposing a fee in order to “process” Supplemental Security Income claims.
A federal grand jury indicted Montrell Levelle Arnold, 42, of Memphis, Tenn. this week on two counts of extortion and two counts of bribery.
According to the indictment, several SSI beneficiaries agreed to pay Arnold a fee to process their claims.
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After SSI benefits were electronically deposited into their accounts, Arnold allegedly contacted beneficiaries by telephone and text message to confirm the payments and arrange for his “processing fee.”
Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Memphis said that they believe Arnold may have taken advantage of more Social Security beneficiaries during his tenure with the agency than they are currently aware of and are asking anyone with information to contact the Social Security Administration’s Office of the Inspector General at 855-260-6353.
Arnold faces up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines for each extortion charge in addition to as many as 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each bribery charge.