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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Little Rock Man Operating Brothel Out of Home Sent to Prison for Lying to Social Security Administration

LITTLE ROCK—Christopher R. Thyer, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Special Agent in Charge Robert Feldt, of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, announced today that Gary Lemond Shorter, age 61, of Little Rock, was sentenced federal prison for making a false statement to the Social Security Administration.

On Wednesday, United States District Judge Kristine G. Baker sentenced Shorter to 21 months’ imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Baker also imposed a $500 fine and ordered Shorter to pay restitution to Social Security in the amount of $15,208. Shorter was indicted on September 2, 2015, and on April 28, 2016, he pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the Social Security Administration.

The charges in the Indictment were based upon an investigation which revealed that Shorter was operating a strip club and brothel out of his residence located on Wolfe Street in Little Rock, also known as "the Cat House." Shorter began receiving Social Security Disability benefits in 2011 based on false representations that he could not work.

Shorter hosted "shows" at "the Cat House" where he would charge a $10 admission fee and sell alcohol to patrons. Inside of the house, women would strip for the patrons and were required to pay Shorter a fee from what they earned for stripping. The upstairs of Shorter’s residence was known as "the VIP area," where women would engage in sex acts in exchange for money. Shorter would receive payment from the individuals using the VIP room.

The recommended sentencing range for Shorter was zero to six months’ imprisonment. Based on the egregiousness of Shorter’s conduct, the United States requested a higher sentence.

"A lengthier term than the recommended range was appropriate," Thyer said. "The defendant not only took advantage of the Social Security Administration, but he benefitted from the sexual exploitation of multiple women. This case represents the efforts by my office and the Social Security Administration to find individuals abusing the system and prosecute them.

Judge Baker allowed Shorter to self-report to prison by February 20, 2017.

"The Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General will vigorously investigate individuals committing fraud against Social Security programs," Feldt said. "This case represents cooperation amongst federal and local agencies to bring to justice those who take advantage of government programs and innocent victims."

The investigation was conducted by the Little Rock Office of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kristin Bryant.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated January 18, 2017