Thursday, August 04, 2011
“At the heart of the issue: an alleged scheme to overbill both federal and state governments to the tune of tens of millions of dollars – all at the expense of taxpayers,” he explained. “We represent a whistleblower, the former Chief Financial Officer of PP’s Los Angeles affiliate, who discovered a statewide scheme of PP affiliates dramatically marking up claims for taxpayer reimbursement. The complaint charges PP with bilking the state and federal governments of some $100 million.”
Sekulow says the federal False Claims Act forbids government contractors from submitting false or fraudulent claims for payment and it authorizes private individuals to bring suit against the offenders to recover the fraudulently obtained funds.
“A large, private law firm is defending PP and has thrown up a series of roadblocks to the case. Our legal team has been busy plowing through them,” Sekulow said. “To say there’s been a series of legal twists and turns along the way is an understatement.”...
“Planned Parenthood has a lot at stake and is not about to roll over,” Sekulow concluded. “A whistleblower could not possibly fight and win a case like this without major legal assistance. This is a very complicated, time-consuming case that requires legal expertise and strategic sophistication. The bottom line is this: We know that this will continue to be a lengthy legal battle, and we remain committed to pursuing Planned Parenthood in this case.”
While other public health facilities and private facilities charged the state between $8 and $9 for a cycle of birth control pills, Planned Parenthood charged almost $12. The Planned Parenthood charge to the California government was several times more than it paid for the drugs originally.
Gonzalez alleges that other California-based Planned Parenthood affiliates and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California knowingly engaged in a scheme to defraud state and federal taxpayers by deliberately over-billing the Medi-Cal program.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Planned Parenthood overbilling occurred until state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara sponsored legislation allowing Planned Parenthood to charge more based on concerns the abortion business presented her that it would suffer financial problems without it.
However, altering the statute didn’t address the billing practices prior to it and a 2003 state audit found at least $5.2 million in overbilling in 2003 alone from just one of the nine California Planned Parenthood affiliates...
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