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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

McCollum announces $27M Medicaid fraud settlement



Shoring up his consumer protection creds, Attorney General Bill McCollum announced a $27 million Medicaid fraud settlement and three separate lawsuits against timeshare re-sale companies.

The fraud settlement is against the Teva Pharmaceutical company, which McCollum said inflated the drug prices it reports to the government health care program. By pumping up its costs, Teva reaped millions in excess reimbursements. "They ripped off the Medicaid system," he said.

Here's how the settlement will be broken down: $7.1 million for Florida's Medicaid agency, $3.5 million to the state's general treasury and $387,000 for a fund that rewards Medicaid fraud tipsters. The balance will be paid to the federal government.

McCollum also announced lawsuits against three timeshare re-sale companies, which were largest source of complaints the attorney general's office received this year. The suits allege the companies -- based in Orlando, Clearwater and Palm Beach -- falsely promised timeshare owners that they had buyers lined up for their properties. 

Economic Crimes Director Mary Leontakianakos noted a "new scam" where timeshare companies falsely claim they have the attorney general's endorsement. "That really concerns me from a consumer protection standpoint."

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:14am]


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