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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Department of Justice

United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee


Admits to Falsifying Cancer Diagnosis to Obtain Insurance Benefits

KNOXVILLE, Tenn—Robin Smith Lankford, 31, of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, pled guilty in federal court today before the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, United States District Judge, to an Information charging her with a federal mail fraud offense arising from an insurance fraud scheme.

Sentencing has been set for July 29, 2010. Lankford could receive a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Lankford is also subject to the forfeiture of all property traceable to the proceeds of her scheme to defraud.

On April 6, 2010, United States Attorney, James R. Dedrick, filed an Information charging Lankford with mail fraud for Lankford's use of the mail to defraud Loyal American Life Insurance Company by fraudulently submitting a claim that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer for the purpose of inducing Loyal American Life to pay her $100,000 in benefits pursuant to her "Cancer Benefit Insurance Policy." According to court documents, on July 16, 2008, Lankford mailed to Loyal American Life a "Statement of Claim" that falsely represented that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and fraudulently claimed insurance benefits. Shortly thereafter, she mailed to Loyal American Life various false medical records that she had fabricated that falsely stated that she had been diagnosed with and had been receiving treatment for ovarian cancer. Lankford's fraudulent misrepresentation to Loyal American Life that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer induced Loyal American Life to send Lankford a $100,000 check which she deposited into her personal bank account.

This investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service in cooperation with the Knox County Sheriff's Office, and the Oak Ridge City Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney F. M. (Trey) Hamilton III represented the United States.

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