Our Lady of Lourdes settles billing fraud charges for more than $1.1M

Camden, N.J.-based Our Lady of Lourdes Health Foundation and two related Our Lady of Lourdes companies will pay more than $1.1 million to settle billing fraud allegations, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The U.S. charged Lourdes with fraudulently billing the federal government for community service grants funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service and failing to conduct related criminal history checks.

Lourdes from 2012 to 2017 administered various community service grants, including in the Foster Grandparent Program, under which seniors serve children with exceptional needs, and the Senior Companion Program, under which seniors help other seniors who need assistance with daily living tasks, such as paying bills, according to the Justice Department. Volunteers within these programs receive small hourly stipends and training and must clear background checks.

The government accused Lourdes of either failing to perform such background checks or not documenting them from 2014 to 2017.

According to the Justice Department, this led to 46 individuals receiving permission to serve in a project associated with one of the community service programs without records of all required background checks. 

"When a monitoring visit was scheduled in 2017, Lourdes employees cut-and-pasted other background checks in an attempt to conceal this failure from CNCS officials," the government said in a news release.

"In addition, Lourdes employees — including two program supervisors — falsely completed time sheets showing program participants serving hours that were impossible, because the locations at which they were purportedly serving were closed," officials added.

The issues were brought to light during a government investigation in 2017.

Justice Department officials said Lourdes — after learning of the findings — voluntarily gave up the grants and terminated workers who had participated in the grant administration. They said Lourdes has  cooperated by conducting appropriate background checks on program participants and determined that the 46 individuals would have received permission to participate in the programs if timely background checks had initially been performed.

The settlement resolved the government's allegations but did not determine liability.

 

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