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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Former Insurance Company President Sentenced To Prison For Embezzlement

LITTLE ROCK Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas; David T. Resch, Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Deborah Perry, Regional Director of the United States Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration; announced today that United States District Judge Susan Webber Wright sentenced John Mathis “Matt” Lile, III, age 56, of Little Rock, to one year and one day in federal prison for embezzling more than $100,000 while president of a local insurance company.

Lile was President of the now defunct Cosmopolitan Life Insurance Company, based in Little Rock, which funded and managed self-insurance healthcare plans for small businesses around the State. On September 19, 2014, Lile pleaded guilty to embezzling Cosmopolitan funds. Specifically, Lile admitted that he abused his position by using a company-issued American Express credit card to pay for thousands of dollars in personal expenses over a three-year period, including family vacations to Las Vegas, Florida, and Italy, restaurant supplies, luxury cruises, visits to tanning salons, Hannah Montana concert tickets, and outlet mall shopping sprees.

In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Wright ordered Lile to pay $118,500 in restitution to Cosmopolitan (now in receivership with Arkansas Insurance Department) and to serve three years of supervised release upon the conclusion of his prison term.

“We all need healthcare sooner or later. When the time comes, we rely upon insurance providers to help bear the costs,” said U.S. Attorney Thyer. “We trust that those who run such companies will act in the best interest of their insureds. When they do not, the consequences are far reaching. Matt Lile treated Cosmopolitan like his own personal piggy bank. The United States Attorney’s Office will aggressively pursue anyone who, like Lile, abuses our trust.”

“While Lile held a position of trust and responsibility, he inappropriately took thousands of dollars to finance his own lifestyle, and today’s sentencing makes a strong statement that this type of behavior will not be tolerated,” stated Special Agent in Charge Resch. “We appreciate the efforts made by the United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Department of Labor, and together we will remain vigilant in investigating healthcare fraud.”

“I hope this sends a clear message to all who sponsor or transact business with employee benefit plans that the federal government will aggressively pursue those who commit crimes against employees and retirees of private-sector health and pension plans,” said Director Perry.

The FBI and the United States Department of Labor led the investigation. First Assistant United States Attorney Patrick C. Harris and Assistant United States Attorney Alexander D. Morgan prosecuted the case for the United States.

Updated August 3, 2015