Attorney General Alan Wilson announces arrest of Clinton man for allegedly stealing from assisted living facility resident
COLUMBIA – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that his office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (SCMFCU) has arrested William U. Smith Jr, 67 years old, of Clinton, SC on one count of Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult and one count of Obtaining Signature or Property under False Pretenses, value $2,000 but less than $10,000. Smith was booked into the Laurens County Detention Center on August 18, 2023.
An investigation by the SCMFCU revealed that between November 27, 2020 and September 30, 2022, Smith made unlawful and unauthorized use of the funds and assets of a vulnerable adult. It is further alleged that Smith accessed the victim’s Social Security benefit payments by utilizing the victim’s prepaid Direct Express debit card at several businesses in Laurens County. In total, investigators allege that Smith obtained $8,972.80 of the victim’s funds. The victim, a vulnerable adult under South Carolina law, resided at an assisted living facility during the time of the alleged misconduct.
This case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.
Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult is a felony and, upon conviction, has a penalty of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to five thousand dollars, or both. Obtaining Signature or Property under False Pretenses, value $2,000 but less than $10,000 is a felony and, upon conviction, has a penalty of up to five years in prison, a fine at the discretion of the court, or both.
Pursuant to federal regulations, the SCMFCU has authority over Medicaid provider fraud; abuse and neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries in any setting; and the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals residing in assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Attorney General Wilson stressed that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.
The SCMFCU receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $2,318,568 for federal fiscal year 2023. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $772,852 for FFY 2023, is funded by South Carolina.