Feds Just Happen to Withold $125 Million in Cuccinelli Settlement

Virginia’s attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, won a giant $125 million settlement prosecuting Medicaid fraud . . . and yet for some reason, the U.S. Department of the Treasury is mysteriously delaying the transfer of the settlement to the state government.

Why, it’s almost as if a giant, politicized and partisan federal bureaucracy wants to deny the GOP candidate for governor something to brag about.

Eight months after a federal court approved a $1.5 billion Medicaid fraud settlement — the second largest in U.S. history — federal officials have yet to release any of the roughly $125 million owed to Virginia for being the lead investigator.

The Abbott Pharmaceuticals illegal marketing case was investigated for five years by the nationally known Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the office of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Officials have told the office that the Internal Revenue Service has refused to properly fill out post-case paperwork for almost a year, which is holding up the disbursement intended for Virginia law enforcement.

But the delay, which state officials say is unprecedented, has Cuccinelli wondering whether the problem is more about politics than completing paperwork.

“For a long time we thought it was glaring incompetence,” Cuccinelli said in an interview. “But in light of the last month or two, we’re now beginning to wonder whether maybe there are more deliberate motives.”

It was a reference to the recent scandal and congressional testimony stemming from reports of the IRS targeting conservative non-profit groups for investigation.

Cuccinelli, a conservative Republican and Tea Party darling running for governor this year, has been a chief antagonist of the federal government — being the first attorney general to file suit challenging President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and also fighting EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.

“I have to openly wonder whether this is an intentional act to deny Virginia its asset forfeiture money,” Cuccinelli said.

The $1.5 billion resolution included a criminal fine and forfeiture totaling $700 million — a $500 million fine to the federal government and roughly $200 million in criminal asset-forfeiture penalties. There were also civil settlements with the federal government and the states totaling $800 million.

The $125 million reflects Virginia’s share of roughly $200 million in asset forfeiture funds owed to the state and local law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation of Abbott, which settled a case that it illegally marketed the prescription drug Depakote for non-approved uses.

Abbott paid the full amount of its settlement to the U.S. Treasury Department last October, but officials have since refused to release Virginia’s portion of the settlement.

Most Popular


The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More