Allegedly falsely claimed benefits while their child was in custody of the state

LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge last week announced the arrest of a Yell County man and woman for felony charges for falsely claiming Social Security Income Benefits for their severely impaired infant daughter while she was in the custody of the state.

Briggsville residents, Bobby Joe Lloyd, 39, and Jessica Norwood, 23, were each arrested and charged with theft of property by deception and criminal conspiracy to commit theft of property by deception.

After the birth of their daughter who suffered from severe medical impairments in September 2018, Lloyd and Norwood lost custody of their daughter to the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Norwood allegedly filed and was approved for Supplemental Security Income Benefits in October 2018, claiming the child was in her custody. Lloyd subsequently applied to be the representative payee and also claimed the couple had custody of their daughter.

Lloyd and Norwood allegedly received social security benefits totaling $5,397 between June 13, 2019 and Aug. 1, 2019, to care for their infant daughter who was actually in state custody.

This case was initiated after the Little Rock Cooperative Disability Investigation (CDI) Unit received a referral for investigation from the Social Security Administration (SSA) Russellville, Office. The case will be prosecuted by Yell County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mark Johnson.

The Attorney General’s Office has two certified law enforcement officers and an investigative analyst assigned to the Little Rock CDI Unit.

“We must hold people accountable who take advantage of taxpayers to ensure these benefits are available to those who need and deserve them,” said Attorney General Rutledge.

Arkansas’s CDI Unit was formed and began operation in October 2015. The Unit is a federal, state and local cooperative effort led and funded by SSA-OIG. The mission of the CDI Unit is to combat fraud by investigating questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers, interpreters or other service providers who facilitate or promote disability fraud. The Arkansas Attorney General’s office has two special agents and an analyst assigned to the CDI Unit.