Texas Attorney General’s Office joins joint task force
Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney John M. Bales and Jefferson County District Attorney Cory Crenshaw announced in a Sept 2. press release the addition of a new partner agency to the multi-jurisdictional Task Force. Attorney General of Texas Greg Abbott will dedicate resources from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to investigate and prosecute crimes related to Medicaid fraud which are uncovered by the Task Force. The mission of the Task Force remains to investigate and prosecute major crimes – more specifically, violent crime and crimes related to the abuse of public trust.
The Texas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) is a division of the Office of the Attorney General and has four principal responsibilities:
- investigating criminal and civil fraud by Medicaid providers;
- investigating physical abuse and criminal neglect of patients in health care facilities licensed by the Medicaid program, including nursing homes and Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services homes;
- prosecuting criminal fraud by Medicaid providers or assisting local and federal authorities with such prosecution;
- investigating fraud within the administration of the Medicaid program.
Assistant Attorney General Catherine Levacy Cockrell is currently assigned to the Beaumont office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a Special Assistant United States Attorney and will prosecute all Task Force cases involving Medicaid fraud.
“The task before us is significant and we welcome the Medicaid Fraud Unit of the Texas Attorney General’s Office to our team of investigators and prosecutors as we continue our effort to bring wrongdoers to justice,” said Criminal District Attorney Crenshaw.
As previously announced, the Task Force members also include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Education Office of Inspector General, the Texas Rangers and the Beaumont Police Department. Task Force prosecutors continue to evaluate cases that fall under both state and federal prosecutorial jurisdictions. The final prosecutorial jurisdiction will be determined on a case by case basis, and will be determined in the light of prosecutorial efficiency and relevant state and federal laws.