Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

On Sunday, Oct. 25, ABC Television's 60 Minutes aired a terrific story on fraudsters who bilk taxpayers out of about $90 billion a year by siphoning money from Medicare and Medicaid.  The choice quote in the story comes from "Tony," who was convicted of stealing about $20 million from Medicare. He says that stealing money from this program doesn't require being a criminal mastermind. Rather, "It's more like taking candy from a baby," Tony said. 

More on "Tony" from the text-version of the story on the CBS web site:

Tony is not his real name. Before he was ratted out by a friend and brought down by the FBI, he was making Wall Street money running a string of phony medical supply companies out of a building that were theoretically providing wheel chairs and other expensive equipment to Medicare patients.

He told Kroft he stole about $20 million from Medicare. He told Kroft it was "real easy."

The AG's office is very involved in this issue, keeping a close eye on fraud involving Medicaid, the federal and state-funded health insurance program for qualifying low-income and needy people.  Eligible recipients can include children, the elderly, and the disabled.

Our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) polices Medicaid providers and Medicaid program expenditures. In 2007, the MFCU recovered more than $15 million for the taxpayer-funded program. Read about the MCFU's latest recovery here. And be sure to check out the 60 Minutes segment on Medicare and Medicaid fraud below.