Oregon’s Obamacare Scandal: Fraud Charges?

John wrote here a few weeks ago about the fiasco of Oregon’s state-designed Obamacare exchange, and especially how his old college classmate, the current governor John Kitzhaber, walked out of a TV interview when pressed on the issue.  Maybe he walked out to avoid having to admit that the whole situation is worse than had been disclosed–that Oregon may in fact face federal fraud charges.  That’s the allegation reported today by a state legislator:

PORTLAND, Ore. – You already know the process that led to the failed rollout of the Cover Oregon website was bad. But was it criminally bad?

Former Republican state Rep. Patrick Sheehan told the KATU Investigators he has gone to the FBI with allegations that Cover Oregon project managers initiated the design of dummy web pages to convince the federal government the project was further along than it actually was.

If Sheehan’s allegations are true, those managers could face time in jail for fraud. . .

Early in its life, Cover Oregon was given a $48 million “early innovator” grant from the federal government. That amount would later grow to $59 million. . .

Meanwhile, multiple reports by state and independent IT experts were finding there had been problems with the Cover Oregon website’s design and planning from the beginning.

Despite the fact the website still doesn’t work today, the KATU Investigators found evidence Lawson – or members of her staff – reported to the federal government that the project was going well.

I’m sure Eric Holder’s Justice Department will be all over this.  (/sarc)

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