Overcast
24°FOvercastFull Forecast

Ill. OK'd contract despite fraud

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 11:23 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 11:28 a.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD – Investigators have determined that Illinois Department of Human Services officials approved $1.7 million in payments to a transportation business despite the company's conviction for Medicaid fraud.

A report Tuesday by Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza indicates that Downstate Transportation Services got $1.7 million to take patients to mental health facilities even after a 2008 conviction for fraudulently billing Illinois $400,000.

The officials included the agency's director of mental health, Lorrie Rickman-Jones, and her chief of staff, Robert Vyverberg. A legal liaison and regional director also received verbal or written reprimands.

Vyverberg and other employees involved say Downstate was the only company that would do the work.

The agency told Meza it is more closely monitoring contracts. A phone number for Downstate Transportation is disconnected.

Get breaking and town-specific news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from the Daily Chronicle.

Watch Now

Player embeded on all DDC instances for analytics purposes.

Dec 16 Rod Carey press conference

More videos »

Reader Poll

Where did you get your last pet?
Animal shelter
A breeder
A pet store
Don't have pets