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Archive for Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kansas SRS secretary pledges to keep eye on fraud

July 12, 2011

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Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. says his agency will focus on stopping waste and fraud.

“We have to have people’s trust that we are spending money wisely,” Siedlecki said Monday in an interview with the Journal-World.

Siedlecki has stirred a public outcry with his decision to shut down nine SRS offices, including Lawrence, which is by far the largest office set for closure.

Siedlecki and his boss, Gov. Sam Brownback, have said the closures are necessary to cut the state budget.

Advocates for the poor and those with disabilities say closing the office will mean an increase in crime and more emergencies because people will not be able to access services.

More than 600 people attended a meeting in Lawrence on Monday to protest the proposal. Siedlecki declined to attend the meeting, but met earlier in the day with Journal-World reporters and editors.

Among the topics he covered, Siedlecki said SRS will mount an anti-fraud and abuse effort including the hiring of an anti-fraud director.

Traveling around the state to various SRS offices, Siedlecki said he is hearing anecdotes about people abusing welfare benefits.

“They’re telling us horror stories,” he said.

Some of those, he said, include stories about people illegally selling Vision Cards, debit cards containing public assistance benefits, such as Food Stamps.

He said a person has to claim to have lost their Vision Card 10 times before SRS can investigate whether they are being sold. He said now SRS will start investigating after the second loss.

Comments

ProveIt 2 years, 6 months ago

I know a clan of drug dealers/welfare frauds in Lawrence Kansas. They're gross. Where do I turn them in for welfare fraud? They have literally stolen from every level and type of government entity they could since about the year 1980.

They even had their gross daughter have a baby a few years back to add more cash to the pot. No one even paid for its birth, much less the upkeep of it's obese behind and obese mom and obese adopted mom (bio grandma). Sigh...what's the phone number or email to knock 'em out of welfare for good? They're fine, simply don't want to work.

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SilverShadow 2 years, 9 months ago

Easy to watch for a fraud, just watch Governor and Sec of State offices. Biggest frauds the Kansas idiots have ever voted into office.

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webewatchinu 2 years, 9 months ago

Really, that is all you come back with? Just trying to sound like my president. I guess the issue is the writing now because you cannot argue the point, OK that is normal for a LIB. You have big inner city problem in Lawrence? HA! (Why shouldn't they be able to buy food at convenience stores?) Uuummm, I am paying for it.

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bobberboy 2 years, 9 months ago

dam right you better be checkin for fraud. That should be a given !!

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webewatchinu 2 years, 9 months ago

Reading the replies I get the impression many of you are KU liberals or very naïve. Allow me to explain the two most common types of fraud SRS deals with. No, not Medical fraud which may be the most costly but most common is Food assistance and Daycare fraud. SRS as the leader in the nanny state has made a sand trap for its clients. A family of seven, with no “reported” income receives approximately $1,300.00 in food assistance every month. (How do go back to work when you get that much free?)They receive it tax free and pay no sales tax on the food purchased. The SRS customer buys the food they need, and some “over priced” pop at QT,(Why do the card work at QT?) and still has money on the card. Remember they did not that much food, the kids were fed breakfast and lunch for free at school. They sell what is left on the card for .50 cents on the dollar. Whoever buys the card needs the card and the pin. The SRS customer then drives to SRS and reports the card stolen and gets a new one before the state loads the card back up with$1,300.00 for the next month. While the SRS worker has a massive take home pay of $2,000.00 a month to pay for food,(with sales tax), car payment, rent ect. The USDA is little to no help in the matter unless you can give them the BIG ring. With the use of the vision card each customer is an independent contractor, no need for the food stamp coupon ring anymore. The policies of SRS made during the 35 years of liberal bleed heart control, leaves the investigator no teeth to keep the person off assistance or fine them when proof is found they have sold their card. So how many cards should they get?, How do you weed out the thieves from the unlucky and or stupid. Now you can blog how wrong I am when you have never worked for SRS or investigated a fraud crime involving a Government freebee agency. I will get back to you on the mess that is daycare paid by SRS

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edjayhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

I find with that as long as they tackle the fraud made by the Koch brothers.

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edjayhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

Some of those, he said, include stories about people illegally selling Vision Cards, debit cards containing public assistance benefits, such as Food Stamps.

Exactly. Stories but not documented cases.

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edjayhawk 2 years, 9 months ago

The only "fraud" is browback's administration.

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Benjamin Roberts 2 years, 9 months ago

"Kansas SRS secretary pledges to keep eye on fraud"

For my friends on the left, here is a picture of the Secretary with his "eye on fraud," from the liberal viewpoint:

http://www.tilrc.org/assests/news/0311news/srs.jpg

To my friends on the right: Sorry, but, the left deserves some humor.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

Frauds = are they watching themselves?

Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services Secretary Robert Siedlecki Jr. is of the former BUSHCO admin who relocated from Florida to take the job.

Corporate white collar private industry = the most reliable source of fraud for example:

Medical Insurance Fraud http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

The Bad Doctor http://www.laweekly.com/2003-01-16/news/the-bad-doctor/

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uncleandyt 2 years, 9 months ago

To keep an eye on fraud, We can't just leave this to God. Return your peas to the pod. Do not consider us odd. What we don't pave we can sod. The Jesus fish was a cod. Food minus one O is fod. Foot with no shoe is not shod. Oh no, We spoiled the rod. Some shall get cash by the wad. The Kochs continually nod. Divide and conquer, applaud

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jackbinkelman 2 years, 9 months ago

Let's just criminalize poverty, and be done with it!

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Alceste 2 years, 9 months ago

Less than 2% of all people on welfare in the USA commit fraud

http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/how-bad-is-welfare-fraud-in-the-usa/

http://www.anitra.net/homelessness/columns/anitra/eightmyths.html

What about real fraud? Here's a recent story that got some attention, although not enough:

http://www.forbes.com/2008/12/12/madoff-ponzi-hedge-pf-ii-in_rl_1212croesus_inl.html

US Department of Agriculture and Treasury Combine Forces to Combat Payment Fraud; Income Data Provided by IRS Will be Used by USDA to Validate Payment Eligibility

http://www.apfo.usda.gov/FSA/newsReleases?area=newsroom&subject=landing&topic=ner&newstype=newsrel&type=detail&item=nr_20090319_rel_0064.html

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SilverShadow 2 years, 9 months ago

If you really want to stop waste and fraud, fire slickickie and hire a competent manager like we had.

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4accountability 2 years, 9 months ago

Cutting the cost of fraud can only serve to help more people who are truly in need. There has been a "look the other way" attitude far too long. Not only with the acts committed by individuals but also by providers. This will potentially be significant amounts of money.
This is a positive step. What thinking person would be against preventing theft and fraud?

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Jan Rolls 2 years, 9 months ago

He needs to keep an eye on himself since he is the biggest fraud around.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 9 months ago

How about some stories of the SRS success stories instead of the fraud. They far outnumber the frauds. But we never get to hear about the people SRS has helped during a rough time, and are now successful. That would make it too hard to cut off the funds. Come on, LJWorld. How about some stories about SRS successes.

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Katara 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh sure. Because he did so well in controlling fraud in FL....

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Eride 2 years, 9 months ago

Mister Siedlecki, Sir, I have an idea of how to solve most of the problems in the SRS organization. How about the executive branch first start by looking at..................

Hiring out of state lunatics with zero experience in managing large organizations generally, running executive branch offices generally, managing even a single staff member, or who have a history of committing atrocities in the state they were "hired away from" (cough Florida cough SRS like position cough children misplaced who died cough lack of accountability for what should be a criminal act of incompetency that is instead rewarded with a cushy, high paying job with zero accountability by a Republican Governor who professes that he "loves" children and is "Christian" cough)

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William Weissbeck 2 years, 9 months ago

Anecdotes and horror stories. What next? Welfare queens driving Cadillacs? This isn't rocket science. Just like credit card usage, it's pretty easy to track the cards for unusual activity. But of course that would require actual SRS workers. It's much easier just to paint the poor as a bunch of crooks.

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Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 9 months ago

You know what will increase fraud? Reducing access to trained professionals and relying on the internet to do business.

Also, interesting how the story about lost Vision cards has gone from "somebody told me" to being a fact that you have to lose your card 10 times.

Also interesting how this guy promised in February that investigations would happen after "three or four" lost cards. Now it is down to two, though apparently it hasn't been put in place yet.

See http://www.khi.org/news/2011/feb/28/srs-exploring-faith-based-initiativesvouchers/?print for Siedlecki making this exact same claim. Five months ago.

Five months later and it is still something they will do? What is the holdup?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 9 months ago

Listening to NPR a couple of weeks ago, they were discussing ways to deal with the debt crisis. A senator (I don't recall which one) said that Medicare fraud came in at 20%. I wonder if SRS fraud runs at about the same number. And if so, what is a cost effective way to deal with that problem?

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deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Yet another admin. position. I wonder how much this undoubtedly imported stooge will cost? This would seem to fall somewhat under the duties of the repealer. Or the KBI. Or even Sidekicky himself. He could be the intrepid welfare crime fighter. Mild mannered crony by day, caped crusader for welfare justice at night.

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