Says not requiring full restitution in civil settlements is ‘ludicrous’
Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) announced his plans to introduce legislation designed to eliminate loopholes in certain civil settlement deals. The legislation comes as a direct result of recent investigations into Medicaid fraud settlements in Lakewood.
Sen. Declan O’Scanlon announced his plans to introduce legislation designed to eliminate loopholes in certain civil settlement deals. (SenateNJ.com)
“When I heard about details of the civil settlement agreements in the Medicaid fraud cases I was concerned,” O’Scanlon stated “I immediately called my staff to get legislation started.”
O’Scanlon’s bill primarily eliminates the option for individuals to pay back anything less than full restitution under a civil settlement agreement with a State entity. Recent articles in the Asbury Park Press and others highlighted several individuals who only had to pay back half of the money they received.
“The notion that people who have knowingly received benefits they were not entitled to would only be required to pay back half of that amount of money is completely ludicrous. It’s basically like letting someone get away with stealing from taxpayers. That’s unacceptable.”
O’Scanlon’s legislation goes one step further when it comes to elected public officials and state employees with fiduciary duty–requiring them to forfeit their positions and be barred from public office or employment for ten years.
“No one should be allowed to steal from taxpayers, but I wanted to make it very clear that elected officials and government employees are held to an even higher standard. How could we allow an elected official to stay in office when they’ve broken the public trust? Furthermore, government employees with a fiduciary duty and/or responsibility to award contracts cannot be allowed to stay in such positions after admitting to making willful misrepresentations in order to obtain undeserved benefits.”
“This legislation sends a clear message that there is nothing to gain by gaming the system. There is a finite amount of funds in these benefit categories. We must make sure taxpayer dollars are going to folks truly in need.” O’Scanlon concluded.