NBC Connecticut Investigates has learned the Office of the Chief State's Attorney has been asked to weigh in on several cases of alleged insurance fraud by City of Hartford employees.
City auditors say this totals at least $500,000 in fraudulent health care claims, something that gets attention in a cash strapped city that just got a $500 million state bailout.
The high profile cases include:
- A teacher whose ex-husband racked up more than $200,000 in healthcare bills
- A retired firefighter whose ex-wife received $200,000 in medical coverage
- A city police officer whose ex-wife logged $20,000 worth of treatment
All this is on the city of Hartford and Hartford public school’s dime, and all of it fraudulently obtained, according to Hartford city auditors and police.
For more than a year, city auditors had consultants look at the health plans of Hartford Public Schools, and the City of Hartford, for instances where employees did not take their ex-spouses off their coverage, and they still got healthcare, some for years.
Auditors gave the findings to Hartford Public Schools, Hartford human resources, and the Hartford Police Department, who determined the three people who ran up the biggest health care bills should be arrested for insurance fraud.
“We worked very closely with them, getting all the numbers together, all the facts,” said chief auditor Craig Trujillo.
Auditors and police asked Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy to sign the arrest warrants.
She told NBC Connecticut Investigates she referred the Hartford cases to the chief state’s attorney’s office last week, which she says is better equipped to dig into cases like these.
The chief state’s attorney’s office does not comment on whether or not a case is under investigation.
Trujillo is hopeful state investigators will reach the same conclusion his staff did.
The teacher caught making $200,000 of alleged fraudulent health care claims has been on paid administrative leave for six months, pending the outcome of an internal investigation by the school district.
Trujillo adds more than a dozen others who allegedly did the same thing, but in smaller amounts, may end up having their wages garnished to pay back the school district.
A judge may ultimately decide how the three accused of taking larger amounts will pay back the city.