Controversial Medicaid fraud amnesty program gets 159 takers

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

A controversial Medicaid benefits amnesty program that allowed some Ocean County residents to avoid prosecution has resulted in consent agreements with 159 people who will repay $2.2 million.

The State Comptroller's office launched the 90-day pilot program last September, three months after 26 Lakewood residents - including many members of the town's large Orthodox Jewish community - were accused of wrongfully collecting more than $2 million in public-assistance benefits. The office announced the program's results Tuesday.

MORE: Results of Medicaid fraud amnesty program

But many residents criticized the program, claiming it allowed people to steal taxpayer money. Several residents shared outrage on social media and called for those who accepted the benefits to face prosecution.

In many cases, those charged were accused of falsely reporting or misreporting income to become eligible for assistance programs.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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