Investigative executive will help protect consumers from scam artists
LANSING, Mich. – Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced today that Al Kimichik has been hired as the department’s senior investigative executive, a new position responsible for preventing, detecting and helping prosecute fraud cases.
The new position is part of Johnson’s ongoing efforts to protect Michigan consumers and fight fraud. Kimichik began his duties Dec. 8.
Kimichik comes to the Secretary of State’s Office with more than 25 years of investigative and law enforcement experience from the Michigan Department of Human Services, where he served as inspector general since 2002. As inspector general, he assisted the department in maintaining the integrity and accountability of its programs by, among other efforts, developing fraud prevention programs that use data analytics and fraud detection training for the field staff.
As inspector general at DHS, he also developed and implemented FEE, a statewide fraud detection and prevention program for public assistance programs, that resulted in $240 million in cost avoidance and taxpayer savings over the past three years. Prior to DHS, Kimichik worked multiple investigative and enforcement roles for the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources.
“Al is an accomplished fraud-buster and we are fortunate to have him on our team,” Johnson said. “His expertise in uncovering and thwarting illegal activity will further strengthen our efforts to crack down on scam artists who target consumers.”
Kimichik will oversee and help implement a plan Johnson announced in October to use cutting-edge technology, expand best practices and maximize resources to fight fraud. The new measures include:
• A comprehensive review of the department’s processes, technology and structure to determine how best to detect and deter fraud.
• Data analysis to identify signs in transactions that may indicate fraud.
• Expanding the verification of the thousands of insurance certificates the department receives from customers daily.
• An upgrade in case management software to give department investigators the best tools for tracking down fraudulent activity.
• A roundtable discussion with business leaders about fraud to seek their advice and ensure the department is following best practices.
“I’m pleased for this opportunity to continue serving the interests of the people of Michigan in an investigative role with the Department of State,” Kimichik said. “Secretary Johnson has put fraud perpetrators on notice and I want to underscore her message to them that we will not tolerate fraudulent activity against the department or its customers and will aggressively investigate and prosecute those attempting to commit such acts.”
As Secretary of State, Johnson has made it a priority to crack down on fraud that targets the department and its customers. Working with the Michigan State Police, prosecutors, state officials and insurance industry leaders, she created the Fighting Auto Insurance Rip-Offs (FAIR) Task Force in 2013.
The task force has explored new ways to combat insurance fraud and issued recommendations earlier this year, some of which are reflected in Johnson’s latest initiatives that Kimichik will help put in place.
For more about the Secretary of State’s Office:
To find Secretary of State office locations and services, visit www.michigan.gov/sos. Sign up for the official Secretary of State Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/michsos and Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/michigansos. Online services are available at www.expresssos.com.
Customers may call the Department of State Information Center to speak to a customer-service representative at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).