Capital Briefs

Planned Parenthood accused of corruption

Americans United for Life (AUL) released the following:

WASHINGTON, D.C. (08-15-14) Americans United for Life filed an amicus brief in support of a petition for rehearing in the whistleblower case, Gonzalez ex rel. U.S. v. Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles, asking the Ninth Circuit to reconsider its recent dismal and give the case its day in court. Victor Gonzalez, represented by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), has alleged that taxpayers were fraudulently billed millions of dollars, paid to Planned Parenthood affiliates of California. AUL filed its brief on behalf of Concerned Women for America, which represents taxpaying members nationwide.

“As AUL documented in The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood, misuse of taxpayer monies is a serious concern nationwide, deserving a thorough investigation,” noted AUL President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest. “Publicly available state and federal audit reports document that Planned Parenthood’s corporate culture enables and encourages inappropriate billing practices through its affiliates and clinics across the nation. The allegations of former Planned Parenthood employees in several unsealed whistleblower lawsuits corroborate Mr. Gonzalez’s allegation. In fact, these lawsuits suggest that Planned Parenthood trains its employees to disregard the law and to engage in improper billing practices.”

In 2004, the California Department of Health Services (CDHS) audited Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties and found that the Planned Parenthood affiliate’s improper billing practice resulted in overpayment from the government of at least $5,213,545.92 in just one fiscal year. In 2008, an action against Planned Parenthood affiliates in California was brought by Victor Gonzalez under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. § 3729, on behalf of the United States of America, under the qui tam provisions of the FCA. Mr. Gonzalez’s complaint alleges that the over-billing practice was not limited to the San Diego affiliate.

During his employment as the Vice President of Finance and Administration with Planned Parenthood of Los Angeles (PPLA), Mr. Gonzalez was asked by Mary-Jane Wagle, then-Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PPLA, to perform an assessment of the impact of these over-billing practices. The result of this assessment revealed approximately $2,144,313.17 in additional income from improper billing. This was the alleged financial impact for only one of the then-ten Planned Parenthood affiliates in California and only for one fiscal year.

Mr. Gonzalez estimates that, over a six-year period beginning in 1999, overbilling by Planned Parenthood’s California affiliates exceeded $180 million. As his complaint notes, “This conservative figure only takes into account the illegal and unscrupulous billing practices of [Planned Parenthood affiliates] within the state of California.”

The AUL brief notes that Mr. Gonzalez’s claims are sufficient for the case, but argues that additional state and federal audit reports, as well as allegations from other former employees, suggest a systemic problem at Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide, buttressing the plausibility of his claims.

Click here to read AUL’s brief.

Click here to learn more about The Case for Investigating Planned Parenthood.

Click here to view the Planned Parenthood Exhibits.

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