Today the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which is a joint effort by Attorney General Thurbert Baker, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the State Auditor, was awarded the 1999 Integrity Award by the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The award recognizes the Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit as the most outstanding of the 47 units around the nation for federal Fiscal Year 1998, which began on October 1, 1997 and ended on September 30, 1998.

The criteria HHS used to make the award were: (1) the amount of taxpayer funds the unit recovered, (2) the number of convictions it obtained, and (3) the efficiency with which it was operated. During federal Fiscal Year 1998, the unit obtained 36 criminal convictions for Medicaid fraud and recovered in excess of $3 million in taxpayer funds.

"We are proud to receive this award as recognition of our outstanding efforts to fight Medicaid fraud in Georgia," Baker said. "We will continue to aggressively pursue and vigorously prosecute those individuals who seek to defraud the taxpayers of Georgia by exploiting a program that is meant to help our most vulnerable citizens," he continued.

Since Georgia established its Medicaid Fraud Control Unit on July 1, 1995, it has convicted 86 persons of Medicaid fraud, compared to one acquittal. The unit has recovered almost $28 million in taxpayer funds from persons and companies that have been found to have defrauded the Medicaid program.