MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Social Security Administration claims representative has been charged with illegally charging beneficiaries a fee to process payment claims.
The U.S. attorney's office said Wednesday that 42-year-old Montrell Levelle Arnold has been charged with two counts of bribery and two counts of extortion.
Prosecutors say Arnold offered to process Supplemental Security Income payment claims for individuals in exchange for a fee. Prosecutors say several beneficiaries agreed to pay Arnold to process the benefit payments, which were deposited into their electronic accounts.
According to the indictment, Arnold would contact the individuals by telephone and text message to confirm receipt of the payment and make arrangements to get his "fee."
Arnold faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted. He is being represented by a federal public defender.