In an ever-increasing trend, state Attorneys General and Medicaid Fraud Control Units have coordinated their efforts to pursue nationwide fraud cases. State Attorneys General have made the prosecution of Medicaid fraud a top priority under their false claims acts, and state prosecutors have become increasingly sophisticated in developing innovative, cooperative investigations that cross jurisdictional lines. State prosecutors also have a keen understanding of the assistance that qui tam relators can offer them.
As the primary providers of Medicaid benefits, states are the vigorous front line prosecutors of Medicaid fraud. Each state has a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit or "MFCU" (sometimes pronounced "M'foo'koo"). Medicaid Fraud Control Units have primary responsibility for investigating and prosecuting pharmacies and other healthcare providers who lie, cheat and steal from Medicaid.
MFCUs have long been at the cutting edge of healthcare law enforcement across the United States. Since 1978, the MFCUs have conducted national efforts through the National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units ("NAMFCU"). NAMFCU has coordinated multi-state efforts in numerous global settlements of Medicaid fraud cases.
State prosecutors led the successful investigation and resolution of the Walgreens case, including Bernabe Icaza of the Florida Attorney General's Office, Patrick Keenan of the Illinois Attorney General's Office, John Guthrie of the Ohio Attorney General's Office, and Robert Robinson of the Texas Attorney General's Office.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan of Illinois, Attorney General Greg Abbott of Texas, and Attorney General Bill McCollum of Florida have created offices with nationally-recognized expertise in the detection and prosecution of Medicaid fraud.
Successful multi-state prosecutions also depend on cooperative partnerships with the federal government. Assistant United States Attorney Linda Wawzenski, Deputy Chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office in Chicago, has successfully developed federal-state prosecutions of Medicaid fraud in the Walgreens, CVS and Omnicare cases, among many others.
The lawyers at Behn & Wyetzner, Chartered have been at the forefront of forging successful prosecutions of multi-state qui tam cases for their clients by working with state Attorneys Generals' offices, state MFCUs, the NAMFCU, and federal prosecutors. Michael Behn, a former federal prosecutor, repeatedly has been recognized as a national expert in the multi-state prosecution of cases under state and federal False Claims Acts. For years, Mr. Behn has led national panels of state and federal prosecutors which teach other lawyers about working with state and federal governments in multi-jurisdictional prosecutions.