An indictment was unsealed today against a Minnesota state worker who allegedly embezzled more than $1.1 million.
At the time the allegation first surfaced — September 26th — I asked, “So now the question isn’t when did it begin, but when did it end?” And now we know: September 10th, 2008. It started in 2003.
According to the indictment (which you can read here), Kim Austen, 47,of Hudson, headed the Department of Human Services unit that submitted Medicaid claims for payment. Starting in August 2003, the indictment says, Austen created an account for an adult man who was not a Medicaid provider, then added dummy invoices into the state’s system that automatically generated checks.
At a news conference last month, Sen. Linda Berglin said the woman was caught thanks to some recently implemented controls. “This would not be able to happen today,” she said. “It got started before the controls that are in place today were installed, and this hasn’t got caught until today.”