Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced Wednesday that the AG's Workers' Compensation, Insurance and Social Security Fraud Unit prevented more than $23 million in fraudulent federal benefits payments in 2013, a news release says.
Pruitt said the unit, led by Assistant Attorney General George Burnett, conducted 179 investigations in 2013.
Based on those investigations, more than $14.9 million in fraudulent Social Security payments were prevented, while more than $8.3 million in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid payments were stopped, the AG's office said.
"At the Attorney General's Office, we're sending a clear message that we will aggressively investigate and hold accountable those who would seek to defraud these programs for their personal gain," Pruitt said.
"Preventing fraudulent claims from being paid stops waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer money and ensures tax dollars are used to support those with legitimate claims. I'm proud of the work by this unit and congratulate the attorneys and agents on a job well done."
Attorneys and agents in the Workers' Compensation, Insurance and Social Security Fraud Unit review suspicious federal benefit claims provided by the Social Security Administration to determine if there is any evidence to prove the claim was made fraudulently.
If a claim is proven fraudulent, the benefits are not paid and result in savings to taxpayers.