CHARLESTON, W.Va. — United States Attorney Will Thompson says ‘more than five’ sober living residences in his Southern District of West Virginia are a focus of the United States Attorney’s Health Care Fraud Task Force.
Thompson, appearing on Thursday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline,’ said it’s an unfortunate situation because the homes are a tool used to fight the addiction crisis. He said leaders of these homes are putting money into their pockets fraudulently.
“I’ve seen wonderful homes and seen wonderful results. Unfortunately, there are a few bad apples out there that are taking of people trying to recover,” Thompson said.
Thompson said he is familiar with the work of these homes, having helped start one in Madison. He also said he worked with the homes as a circuit judge in drug court.
He explained that leaders of these certain houses are getting people in the houses and programs that shouldn’t necessarily be in there.
“We even have allegations of human trafficking where we are bringing people in from to keep the feed of people going through the homes,” Thompson explained.
He further stated, “It’s kind of scary because they are putting people and stacking them in rooms in some places where it is crowding them in. It’s a health hazard just by the number of people they have crammed in these facilities and they are not giving them the treatment they need and deserve.”
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) October 20, 2022
Thompson announced the task force’s focus Thursday during a healthcare fraud conference held by his office and the West Virginia Attorney General’s Office at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center.
More than 50 law enforcement officers, public health officials and others received the latest information about fraud that impacts the cost of health care as well as the quality of care received by our most vulnerable citizens.
“This is like taking advantage of children and the elderly. People suffering from addiction is a segment of our society that needs protection and they don’t need to be taken advantage of,” Thompson said.
The United States Attorney’s Health Care Fraud Task Force brings together federal, state, and local law enforcement partners from numerous agencies to coordinate intelligence sharing and prosecution of healthcare fraud impacting Medicare, Medicaid, and other public healthcare programs.