Vietnam Veteran Uncovers Multi-Million Dollar Qui Tam Scam

A New Jerseywheelchair-bound Vietnam veteran with muscular dystrophy uncovered a multi-million dollar medical aid fraud.

The New Yorkpost reported Richard West, 63, first discovered his Medicaid benefits were wrongly maxed out in 2004 during a visit to the dentist and spent the past seven years investigating why.

Following the dentist visit, West returned home and looked at his own records.  West found the agency that provided his benefits Maxim Healthcare, had billed the government for care he never received, including visits from nurses he never met.

After unsuccessfully trying for months to get government officials to investigate the scam, he hired a lawyer and filed a federal lawsuit. Those efforts resulted in the largest financial settlement in home healthcare fraud history.

West stated, “From my wheelchair, on a ventilator and oxygen, I have spent the last seven years in this fight. Sometimes, the good guy wins.”

“The more I uncovered, the more pissed off I got that someone was making money on my disability,” he said. “It’s people like me that will keep these big companies honest.”

Maxim Healthcare which has 300 offices in 40 states across the country was found to have made $61 million from phony reimbursements.

Fox News reported the corporation agreed to pay $121.5 million in reimbursements and penalties for the fake Medicaid claims and $8.4 million to the Veterans Administration. It was also fined $20 million.

West received $15 million for his efforts because federal law states he is entitled to a percentage of the cash the company was ordered to pay back. He said he will spend his settlement on a new van, home improvements and donations to charities for the disabled.

By: South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorney Pete Strom