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Statement of Attorney General Mills regarding prosecution of Fraud Cases
July 14, 2016
(AUGUSTA) Since 2014 the Attorney General’s Office recovered more than $26.2 million from 28 healthcare providers who billed MaineCare for goods and services they did not provide. In addition, the Attorney General’s Office obtained restitution of about $654,000 from 62 individual recipients in who defrauded various DHHS programs in 2014 and 2015. The Attorney General’s Office also brought criminal tax fraud cases that resulted in restitution of $1.5 million in the last two state fiscal years.
“The Attorney General’s Office takes violations of the law very seriously, whether they appear large or small,” said Attorney General Mills. “Whether a corporation is manipulating Medicaid billing, or a person is trading EBT cards or a public official is holding public meetings behind closed doors in violation of the law, they should be and will be held accountable by this office. The integrity of the laws and the protection of the public purse demand no less.”
Attorney General Mills dedicated a single prosecutor to handle benefits fraud cases in 2010. In recent years DHHS increased the number of recipient fraud investigators from seven to 17; yet there is still only one attorney to screen cases, refer them for more investigation, take them to grand jury and prosecute them in courts all around the state. Many cases initially referred to the Attorney General’s Office are sent back for further investigation or for administrative sanctions if there is not sufficient evidence of a crime.
“DHHS and our Office discussed adding another fraud prosecutor last year; but the administration turned down the request,” said Attorney General Mills. “We have been trying since January to add a position to handle these cases, to no avail. Meanwhile, all of our attorneys work tirelessly to support the rule of law.”