Ohio's Medicaid Investigated After Undercover Video Released Online


UPDATED: Wednesday July 20, 2011 9:55 AM

A Franklin County Jobs and Family Service worker was placed on paid administrative leave and at least one other person was out of work after an undercover video was released online showing workers how to receive inappropriate health care benefits.

Three workers from the Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services were heard or seen in the video, along with a handful of other workers in similar offices in Madison and Marion counties, 10TV's Chuck Strickler reported.

The video that appeared on the Project Veritas Web site showed actors who posed as Russian drug dealers, telling workers that they were illegal immigrants whose young sisters perform sex acts for drug clients.

SLIDESHOW: Images From Video

The website claims the actors went to the Franklin County Job and Family Services Center on South High Street and talked to Traci Daniels, a worker at the agency, Strickler reported.

According to the Web site, Daniels suggested that the men hide ownership of an $800,000 car.

The Web site claimed that Daniels then told the actors how to classify their drug business.

"Assuming (the video is) accurate, it's unacceptable," said Ben Johnson of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.   "The video is incredibly troubling.  "I'm less concerned with the filmmakers and what their motivations might have been, and more concerned with making sure we're spending taxpayer money appropriately, that we're rooting out fraud, wherever it is, and that we're running a clean program."

Johnson said that the made-up story would have been caught if the Medicaid application process moved forward.  He said that the men never received Medicaid benefits, but said that the  state office will redouble its efforts to train workers at the local level.

"The end result of this is we're going to take this video and we're going to use it as a training video," Johnson said.

Daniels had no comment when 10TV attempted to contact her at her home.  A supervisor is no longer with the agency, Strickler reported.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine called the video outrageous and said that his Medicaid fraud unit would look into the incident.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for additional information.