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She'd Helped This Teen Before. This Time, the Cops Came

School superintendent charged with fraud after using health insurance to help sick student
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2019 8:40 AM CST
Casey Smitherman.   (Madison County Jail, per Fox News)

(Newser) – An Indiana school superintendent who says she was worried about a sick student was hit with fraud charges after cops say she used her insurance to get medical treatment and meds for him. Per KTXL, court records say 48-year-old Casey Smitherman picked up the 15-year-old, who had a sore throat, on Jan. 9, took him to a clinic and signed him in under her son's name, and then filled an antibiotic prescription for him (also under her son's name) at CVS; the teen is said to have ripped off the bottle's label because he "knew it was wrong." Total insurance claim: $233, per the court docs. Cops contacted the student's guardian after a tip was called in, and Smitherman turned herself in on Jan. 17. She says she didn't call child services because she was afraid the agency would place the teen in foster care, per court records, which notes she's helped the student before with clothes and housecleaning.

"In the moment, my only concern was for this child’s health," Smitherman says in a statement." Charges against her include insurance fraud and identity deception, among others. "I understand it was her desire to help a young man that was in bad shape, but probably not the best example to set for young people," Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings tells WXIN. Smitherman's attorney says she's been placed into a diversion program, meaning she doesn't have to plead guilty, won't have a record as a result of this incident, and can have the charges dismissed if she isn't arrested again over the next year, per the Herald Bulletin. The Elwood school board also seems in a forgiving mood, per KTXL: It issued a statement noting Smitherman "made an unfortunate mistake, but we understand that it was out of concern for this child's welfare. ... She continues to have our support." (Read more fraud stories.)

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