Hundreds of thousands in public dollars were spent on people who shouldn't be using a school district health insurance plan, according to an audit of Hartford Public Schools, and now the Hartford Police Department is investigating the alleged fraud.
Last year Hartford Public Schools discovered an ex-husband of one of its employees ran up health care bills approaching $700,000 over a 15-year stretch.
The school district and Hartford auditors got an outside firm named Secova to investigate.
Auditors learned Secova found at least another 17 former spouses on the district health care plan.
They passed that information onto police. Those former spouses could now face criminal charges, or be taken to civil court to pay back the district.
"This was a mess that needed to be cleaned up, there was lack of vetting," Hartford Internal Audit Commission member Bruce Rubenstein told NBC Connecticut.
The Hartford Police Major Crimes division and several other agencies are investigating the alleged fraud and will provide a report at the end at the conclusion.
Hartford Public Schools is self-insured, so it pays out these health care claims.
Secova estimates its audit could save the district a $500,000 per year.
The district says it will hold any employees who took advantage of the plan accountable, and send out annual reminders that any family status change must be updated within 30 days.