FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS?A Toomsuba resident has been indicted and arrested on four counts of felony exploitation of a vulnerable person, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.
Barbara McWilliams, age 40, turned herself into authorities with the Attorney General?s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today . McWilliams was indicted in November on the charges by a Lauderdale County Grand Jury. McWilliams is alleged to have taken the vulnerable person?s SSI benefits each month for four months and converted the funds for her own use while the alleged victim was institutionalized in a state facility in September 2010. As the designated payee, McWilliams agreed to ensure the SSI funds were spent on the needs of the beneficiary of the funds. Additionally, Social Security should have been notified of the institutionalization so that benefits could have been suspended. Instead, McWilliams is alleged to have continued to receive and cash the checks totaling $2,426.40 for her own use.
If convicted, she faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and $40,000 in fines. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was investigated by MFCU investigator Trey Rogers and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Sue Perry.