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Friday, November 12, 2010

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


OAK RIDGE WOMAN WHO FALSIFIED CANCER DIAGNOSIS TO OBTAIN INSURANCE BENEFITS RECEIVES SIX MONTH PRISON SENTENCE

KNOXVILLE, Tenn—Robin Smith Lankford, 32, of Oak Ridge, Tenn., was sentenced on Nov. 10, 2010, by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, U.S. District Judge, to serve six months in prison, followed by six months of home confinement, and three years of supervised release. Lankford was also ordered to forfeit the proceeds of her crime and pay restitution of $100,000 to Loyal American Life Insurance Company. This sentence followed Lankford's guilty plea to mail fraud charges on Apr. 15, 2010.

On Apr. 6, 2010, an information was filed 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 Jul. 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 U.S. Postal Inspection Service in cooperation with Knox County Sheriff's Office, and Oak Ridge City Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney F. M. (Trey) Hamilton III represented the United States.

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