Six city employees indicted for health insurance fraud

Northeast News
December 14, 2012

Federal prosecutors announced Dec. 13 that six city employees and a Jackson County, Mo., employee have been indicted by a federal grand jury for a scheme that allegedly involved hundreds of public employees who defrauded their health insurance carrier of more than $300,000 by falsely claiming to have competed in various fitness activities such as running, bicycling, even Olympic weightlifting competitions.

Charged in the scheme are: Crystal Burgin-Woods, 42, an employee of the Kansas City, Mo., Municipal Court; Matt Stivers, 41, an employee of the city’s information technologies department; Kim Blair, 36, and Sylvia Sims, 37, both employees of the city’s parks and recreation department; Matt Tholen, 29, an emergency medical technician; Michael King, 30, an employee of the city’s water department; and Michael Olukotun, 39, a corrections officer at the Jackson County jail.

The indictment alleges that the defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City’s Points to Blue program, a program that offers cash incentives for insured’s participation in various wellness activities. For each 1,000 points earned through healthy activities, participants received $1 of credit toward a gift card or a pre-loaded debit card, up to $250 per year. The participant’s households were also eligible to participate in the program with the same rewards. More points were rewarded for more strenuous activites such as triathlons or marathons.

The indictment alleges that within the first six months of the program’s launch, fraudulent claims were submitted by the defendants, often for the most strenuous activities. For example, Crystal Burgin-Woods submitted claims that amounted to 383 gift cards that totaled over $185,000 in rewards. Matt Stivers submitted claims that resulted in his receiving 248 gift cards with rewards totaling $39,000. The indictment alleges the defendants also recruited co-workers to participate in the fraud and often kicked them back a portion of the reward proceeds, usually $50 according to court documents.

City Manager Troy Schulte released a statement Dec. 13 indicating: “We are very saddened with the allegations brought upon a small group of City employees. These alleged actions do not represent the majority of City employees who adhere to the City’s ethical standards.”

As a result of the scheme, 1,253 gift cards were issued totaling almost $311,000. Each defendant is charged with three counts of wire fraud.

Comments are closed.

  • Fire destroys pawn shop warehouse

    November 19th, 2014

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Nov. 19, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The Kansas City Fire Department were called to an […]

    One dead after morning shooting outside City Hall

    November 12th, 2014

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Nov. 12, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — One man is dead after a early morning shooting […]

    Kessler Bark: Record breaking tree grows in HNE

    November 12th, 2014

      By Joe Jarosz Northeast News November 12, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast is now able to claim […]

    U.S. Navy Blue Angels to stop in Kansas City for preseason visit

    November 11th, 2014

    Northeast News Nov. 11, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The U.S. Navy Blue Angel representatives will visit Kansas City next week […]

    KCMO to host hard to recycle items event on America Recycles Day

    November 10th, 2014

    Northeast News Nov. 10, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Are old televisions, mattresses, bicycles and other items taking up space […]

  • City offices closed Nov. 11, 27 and 28; trash pickup delayed

    November 8th, 2014

    Northeast News Nov. 8, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — City Hall wants you to know there will be a few […]

    Gov. Nixon announces summer jobs program for 1,500 low-income youth in Kansas City area

    November 7th, 2014

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Nov. 14, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The lesson learned from earning a buck is something […]

    Jackson County gets four new faces for Legislature

    November 5th, 2014

    Joe Jarosz Northeast News Nov. 5, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Jackson County Democrats had nothing to worry about on […]

    A new program coming to teach children music

    November 5th, 2014

    By Joe Jarosz Northeast News November 5, 2014 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – An area community center is hoping to bring […]

    Fan rally.

    November 5th, 2014

    By Kirstie Mulligan Northeast News November 5, 2014 James Shields, Billy Butler and Jeremy Guthrie, among others, thanked fans for […]

  • What’s Happening

    Local artists offered chance to display on Crossroads ARTBOARDS

    By Melissa Wharton Northeast News Charlotte Street Foundation (CSF) and Missouri Bank are once again calling on local artists for […]

    Fire destroys home near Askew and Smart

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News An early morning fire near the intersection of Askew and Smart on Friday, September 22 […]

    Northeast Newscast Episode 27 – Northeast HS Homecoming and sports at KCPS w/ athletic director Dr. James Sanders

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News This week on the Northeast Newscast, Kansas City Public Schools athletic director Dr. James Sanders […]

  • Local Weather