W.Va. sees record gains in fraud seizures

By Staff reports
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia was among several states where federal prosecutors seized record amounts in fraud cases, as cited Thursday by Vice President Joe Biden.Biden said Tuesday that the federal government recovered $5.6 billion in fraud prosecutions so far in 2011.In 2008, West Virginia recovered $537,740 in fraud seizures. That increased to $4,452,072 in 2011 -- a 728 percent increase, according to federal data."Consistently, we have taken in more money than our budget for this office," Booth Goodwin, U.S. Attorney for the state's Southern District, said Tuesday.
Goodwin said the his office has made gains in each of the last two years he has been in office and expects even greater gains next year.In one case, nursing home conglomerate Genesis Health Care agreed to pay the government more than $1.5 million to resolve potential health-care fraud matters involving the corporation's West Virginia homes.The lawsuit was related to a speech therapist who recently pleaded guilty to criminal charges of forging her license."I think that increase is fruit borne from that as well as greater focus on recovering ill-gotten gains," Goodwin said.
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