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Government Ill-Equipped to Prevent Medicaid Fraud, Says False Claims Act Expert

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 General News J E 4
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AUSTIN, Texas, July 14 In response to last week's widelyreported story about Medicaid fraud by medical supplies companies that billedthe government for services prescribed by dead physicians, Patrick O'Connellof Baron & Budd, P.C., also the former head of the Texas Attorney General'sCivil Medicaid Fraud Section, has called for greater support for state andfederal legal enforcement bodies in the prosecution of such cases.

"This is a situation where the government's ability to enforce the law andto prevent fraud suffers due to insufficient resources and manpower," saidO'Connell. "Hundreds of millions of the taxpayer's hard-earned dollars arebeing stolen and will continue to be, until the government gets the legalsupport it needs to identify and prosecute those who are defrauding it."

In 2007, O'Connell received the Honest Abe Integrity in Government Awardfrom Taxpayers Against Fraud for making Texas a leader in curbing fraudthrough the use of a state False Claims Act. During his eight year tenure withthe Attorney General's office, his staff recovered over $200 million in stolenfunds claims. O'Connell is currently working with a number of other stateattorney generals offices to initiate anti-fraud litigation.

About Baron & Budd, P.C.

For more than 30 years, the law firm of Baron & Budd, P.C. has championedthe rights of people and communities harmed by corporate misconduct. With morethan 50 attorneys and offices in California, Texas and Louisiana, Baron & Buddenjoys a national reputation as a leader of the plaintiffs' bar. The firmrepresents individuals with mesothelioma and other diseases caused byasbestos; leukemia caused by benzene; injuries caused by other toxicsubstances and unsafe pharmaceuticals; water authorities seeking clean-upcosts for drinking water contamination; government entities and whistleblowersfighting corporate fraud; securities investors defrauded by corporatewrongdoing; and consumers in class actions.Contact: Susan Jones Knape 214/629-0596 Sknape@baronbudd.com Christal Karnaze 703/615-5763 christalkarnaze@lmo.com

SOURCE Baron & Budd, P.C.
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