By Michael Baggot
LOS ANGELES, CA, March 11, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A fired executive of Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the nine California affiliates of the group for over-billing the government more than $180 million, it was revealed Saturday.
P. Victor Gonzalez, former vice president of finance and administration of Planned Parenthood’s Los Angeles affiliate, filed his 2005 suit under the False Claims Act. Gonzalez claims that he was fired after voicing concerns about “illegal accounting, billing and donations practices.”
Gonzalez alleges that the over-billing began in the late 1990s and deals with state and federal health care program reimbursements to PP for contraceptives.
Gonzalez’s attorney, Jack Schuler, alleges that PP bought contraceptives at a discounted rate given to charitable organizations, “then billed the state Medi-Cal program for 12 or more times their purchase price.”
Schuler accuses the CA PPs of “extensive, organized fraud.”
“A previously buried and ignored California Department of Health Services 2004 Audit, which found more than $5 million in egregious over-billing in two years by the San Diego/Riverside Planned Parenthood affiliate, is an extraordinary indictment against Planned Parenthood,” stated Schuler.
“Planned Parenthood is America’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care. Our skilled health care professionals are dedicated to offering men, women, and teens the highest quality medical care and the most affordable products,” states the official website of the group.
“Each health center provides safe, reliable services that prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception, reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections through testing and treatment, and screen for cervical and other cancers,” adds the site.
“Here is the ultimate Hollywood movie set façade of a corporation that poses as charitable while grossly over-billing government programs funded to service the needy, not the greedy. I would not be shocked that criminal prosecutions might follow,” added Schuler.
In a separate wrongful termination suit scheduled to begin on April 7, Gonzalez alleges that the PP LA affiliate advanced money to the Sacramento affiliate “to cover expenses for lobbying and advocacy.” Gonzalez reported taking pictures of anti-Bush and pro-Barbara Boxer signs in PP headquarters that violate the IRS Code forbidding support on the part of charitable organizations for specific political issues or candidates.
Gonzalez also alleges credit card abuse in the LA PP. “Instead of using the card for legitimate non-profit purposes, employees were using donor money and other PPLA money for Victoria’s Secret and private video purchases. Other instances of credit card abuse occurred as well.”
California PP spokeswoman, Ana Sandoval, declined comment until her organization could assess the suit.
In the summer of 2007, LifeSiteNews reported on PP’s increased profit and taxpayer funding. According to PP’s official 2005-2006 annual report, the organization announced a $55.8 million profit for the year, bringing total PP profits over the years to over $700 million.
PP gains money from three main sources: clinic fees, donations from groups and individuals, and taxpayer funds from the government. The 2005-2006 financial report indicated a decline in both clinic fee profit and donations.
The report also revealed that PP received $305.3 million in taxpayer funds, 14 percent more than in the previous year. Taxpayer funding accounted for 34 percent of PP’s income.
“The bottom line is that Planned Parenthood is losing donations, its clinic income is down and you and I are being forced to pay more so the organization can kill our children through abortion and spread its perverted ideology throughout the land…Something is wrong here,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League.
See other related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
U.S. Planned Parenthood Reports Record Profit, Record Amount of Taxpayer Funding