Whistleblowers point to fraud in California Planned Parenthood
Two former Planned Parenthood employees-turned-whistleblowers have made stunning allegations regarding the abortion provider's accounting practices. In a case now pending in federal court P. Victor Gonzalez alleges that he saw millions in fraudulent overbilling to state and federal governments when he worked as Chief Financial Officer for Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles (PPLA).
Gonzalez alleges that after he reported the problems internally he was fired. While Gonzalez was still working for PPLA the state of California launched audits of various Planned Parenthood affiliates, and uncovered more than $5.2 million in overbilling at a single affiliate based in San Diego. Gonzalez claims that Planned Parenthood lobbyists intervened to stop other audits that were still pending statewide.
In his court filings, Gonzalez has outlined several transactions he alleges show illegal activity. For example, in one year Gonzalez says PPLA paid $225,695.65 for Ortho Tri-Cyclen birth control pills, yet billed the government $918,084 - for a profit of $692,388.35.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) says billing guidelines were unclear, and that nothing illegal or improper happened. According to PPAC, "The allegations in the lawsuit are false and were addressed by the State of California long ago." PPAC adds, "the California State Legislature passed a law in 2004 making it clear that the billing practices at issue in the case are completely permissible."
The law referenced by PPAC was sponsored by then-Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson, and allows Planned Parenthood to continue to bill at inflated rates. Jackson has said she was persuaded by Planned Parenthood that it could not survive absent the mark up for reimbursement, and she considered the issue one of "access." . . .
Labels: Fraud, Government