New Hanover County investigates a dozen Medicaid fraud cases

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Kristy Ondo - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County is fighting to have more than $300,000 in fraudulent medicaid claims repaid.

The sheriff's office is involved in recovering the money from over a dozen suspects.

Officials with the Department of Social Services say there are at least 30 to 40 more cases that detectives will have to investigate and thousands more dollars of Medicaid fraud that need to be repaid.

Officials with the county finance and social services departments sat down with law enforcement earlier in the week to figure out how to deal with the cases.

Most involve adult Medicaid, specifically, benefits for elderly patients in nursing homes.

When people apply for assistance, they have to fill out forms detailing income and assets including bank accounts, pensions and property.

D.S.S. officials say some people who received the Medicaid benefits failed to report some of their assets, like boats and homes that would have made them ineligible.

The sheriff's office is currently working on 13 cases, but social services officials say there are many more, some of which go back as far as five years and include "significant amounts of money."

New Hanover County finance director, Avril Pinder told WECT the fraud case reviews have nothing to do with the county's current budget crunch.

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