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KC Area Public Workers Named In Wellness Fraud Indictments

Dan Verbeck

A federal indictment alleges seven Kansas City area public employees used a novel approach to defrauding a wellness program promoted by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBSKC).

The seven are accused of falsely claiming cash incentives.

According to charging documents, some of the accused claimed their children, younger than five years old, took part in triathlons in order to claim prizes.

Chief among defendants is a Kansas City municipal court employee who allegedly received 383 gift cards worth $185,000.

Six of those indicted are Kansas City employees, one a Jackson County worker.

The vehicle for the cash rewards is called the Points to Blue Wellness Program. Points were awarded for healthy activities, more added for rigorous physical competitions.

The indictments say the defendants falsely claimed to have completed activities and encouraged co-workers to do the same.

As a result, the U.S. Attorney said BCBSKC was taken for some $310 thousand.

The secret indictments were returned December 12th and made public after several defendants had been arrested.

A statement from Kansas City government said no public funds were involved or lost.  

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