BY MICHAEL HULL
At the Nanuet Civic Association on June 05, 2014 during a presentation by D.A. Thomas Zugibethere was a discussion about Medicaid Fraud in Rockland County. Zugibe was asked what the problem was with these programs that so many people can get away with fraud.
Zugibe replied that there would need to be a system in place to quadruple the monitoring of the systems before they could stop fraud and continued by indicating that if Rockland County taxpayers were concerned about Medicaid then consider what was happening to the money that went into unemployment programs.
Here is the text of his remarks which makes you wonder who is asleep at our government’s ‘switch.’
Let me give you an example of Federal assistance and how we give away money. Remember from the past if you were on unemployment you had to go to the unemployment office once a week and you had to convince them that you made every effort to find a job in order to stay on the program.
Now you go onto a website; you apply; you tell them you are not working and they send you an ATM card and then every week they wire you a check. Every month you log on and you simply check the button ‘I haven’t been able to find a job’.
There is no interview, there is nobody looking at it.
We picked up in Rockland County on surveillance that people were going in with 20 or 30 cards at a time to an ATM machine and walking out with their suits stashed with money and duffle bags stashed with cash. It turned out, as a result of an investigation in Rockland, when the government checked their computers people were certifying that they were unemployed from every country in the entire world, including terrorist countries, the Middle East and everything else. Checks were being wired to their banks in those countries. The recipients didn’t live here, they had nothing to do with New York State. The system was so free that they were just wiring the money out.
As a result of the Rockland investigation New York checked the IP computer addresses of everyone logging in and found that most of them were coming in from outside the country. That is how freely the money was flowing. As a result of that investigation they changed the system here and then they determined that every State in the United States was doing the same thing.
We were told that when they picked it up it changed the unemployment rate! The unemployment rate wasn’t as high as they thought because they were basing it on how many people were logging in saying they were “unemployed”. And they weren’t! They were not even residents!
These are needs-based programs that legislators decided that we need – the problem is in the ability to monitor the program. They don’t put the framework and machinery in place to adequately monitor the program and track it to protect the program. The feeling they have is that it is cost-prohibitive to put the resources in to monitor the program and yet it is cost-prohibitive not to do so.
Every single program that we have ever looked at here is racked with fraud.
It’s your money and that is how your government uses it.
Republished with permission: Rockland Voice