State Worker Indicted on Numerous Fraud and Theft Counts

Monday, June 29, 2009 | 01:19 pm

MEMPHIS – A 44-year old Cordova man was indicted last week and arrested on Saturday, June 27 in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud the federal and state government out of more than $150,000 in public assistance benefits.   Internal reviews at the Department of Human Services revealed that Kemoh Sulimani, an eligibility counselor in Shelby County, may have created dozens of fictitious cases that enabled him to embezzle from two government assistance programs—Food Stamps and Families First, the state’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.

“Any time a government employee is accused of these types of crimes, it shakes the public’s confidence,” said DHS Commissioner Gina Lodge.  “We work diligently to assure the integrity of our programs and assure the public trust.  It angers us when one of our own may be involved in cheating the system.”

 

Sulimani, a native of Sierra Leone who holds dual citizenship, became employed with DHS in September, 2004.   He worked in the Jackson Avenue DHS office.  Irregularities in Sulimani’s caseload were discovered last month.   

 

“We are extremely pleased with the work our Systems and Investigations units did in uncovering and building this case,” said DHS Inspector General Alan Hall.  “We are also very grateful for the hard work of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department in pursuing and apprehending the suspect.”

 

Sulimani was arrested at his home on Hardwood Cove on Saturday evening.  He was booked into the Shelby County jail just after midnight, and is being held on a $500,000 bond. 

http://injail.shelby-sheriff.org/kiosk_detail.php?z=6bao2at95n0a1t89l1q8m1tkq0&x=07BE9B0D20E0-AC78-CF54-C023-A637A49A&d

 

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department is assisting in the ongoing investigation, along with investigators from the Department of Human Services.   If anyone suspects fraud or abuse of DHS programs, please call the DHS Investigations Unit at 1-800-241-2629.

 

Any accused person is always presumed not guilty until proven otherwise in a court of law.

 

For more information, contact Michelle Mowery Johnson at 615-313-4707 or Michelle.moweryjohnson@tn.gov .

 

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