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Back in 2003 two enterprising ladies from the mountains (from the Hamlet of Sparta) went into the business of providing care to Medicaid patients. Seven years later a judge in the mountains put them out of business and sent them to jail for four years – because the two ladies had hoo-dooed Secretary Lanier Cansler’s department out of $622,000.
But here’s what’s odd: Secretary Cansler’s Department has all kinds of auditors and investigators and independent contractors scrutinizing Medicaid providers but, somehow, for over four years the ladies managed to fool them all and bill the state for dead people and people who lived hundreds of miles away.
Now, it’s easy to see how a state auditor could slip and approve ten or twenty or maybe even a hundred fraudulent claims – but how about 15,833?
So how much trouble did Secretary Lanier Cansler have explaining this eye-popping statistic – hardly any. He barely broke a sweat. The Houdini of Cabinet Secretaries announced to the press he was “thrilled,” just thrilled two skizzlers had been brought to justice and then waxed so eloquent about the evils of Medicaid fraud no one even thought to ask how two ladies from Sparta, North Carolina fooled his department 15,833 times.


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