A superintendent of an Indiana school district has been accused of insurance fraud after she reportedly brought a student for medical treatment and said he was her son so that she could use her insurance to cover the services.
Casey Smitherman is the superintendent of a school district just outside of Indianapolis in the small town of Elwood, where many of the residents are reported as falling into the low-income category.
Smitherman had become acquainted with a 15-year-old boy who attends school in Elwood and she reportedly felt concern for the recent conditions at his home. She stated that she had, on occasion, given the teen clothing and assisted with household chores to try to provide a bit of relief.
On January 9, the student was absent from school and Smitherman went to his residence to make sure that he was alright. She reportedly found that he was ill and in an attempt to avoid the possibility of him ending up in the foster care system if she contacted Child Protective Services, she decided to take him to see a doctor.
After they were turned away from the first medical facility Smitherman told the second clinic that the student was her son, and she gave them her insurance information as payment for the appointment. Smitherman stated that she knew the boy did not have his own insurance but she wanted to ensure his well-being.
The child was given a diagnosis that required a prescription antibiotic for treatment and Smitherman brought the boy home while she grabbed the medication from the pharmacy.
Using her insurance policy and son’s name again, Smitherman retrieved the prescription for the boy and brought it back to his house.
The authorities were alerted about the fraudulent incidents, which cost just over $200, approximately a week after Smitherman had taken the boy for treatment of his illness.
Smitherman went to the Elway police station on January 19 and spoke with them about what had transpired, explaining that she believed the child had strep throat and as a parent, she acted in the moment to make sure that he would be alright.
Smitherman was accused of insurance fraud, identity deception, and official misconduct, and she was released from custody on $500 bail.
It was decided that Smitherman would be assigned a pretrial diversion program which would expunge the charges from her record if she is not arrested for anything in the next year.
When she spoke publicly about the situation, Smitherman said that in retrospect she knows it was wrong to do what she did, and her “only concern was for this child’s health.”
She also has the support of the school board, as verified in a statement issued by the president saying that the event was “an unfortunate mistake” and that she has always shown that she values “the best interests of all students in Elwood Community Schools.”
If you or someone you love is suspected of fraud, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.