Friday, April 9, 2010
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) and Brazoria County Sheriff’s Department jointly conducted the criminal investigation.
The nonprofit ACHE is eligible to receive reimbursements from the taxpayer-funded Medicaid program. It is also a federally qualified health center. According to investigators, Benefield diverted Medicaid funds for her personal benefit, awarded jobs and contracts to family members, directed employees to falsify Centers for Medicaid Services billing statements and failed to comply with federal guidelines governing the administration of the facility.
The preliminary estimate of fraud being investigated by MFCU officers is approximately $236,000.
Assistant Attorney General Deni Garcia will prosecute the case at the request of the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office.
Attorney General Abbott’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has established field offices in Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, San Antonio and Tyler through authorization and funding from the 78th Legislature. It works with federal, state and local agencies across the state to identify and prosecute those who defraud the Medicaid program.