- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 11, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on the New Mexico attorney general’s allegations of tax fraud against a major insurance provider (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

One of the state’s largest health insurance providers is rejecting allegations that it underpaid premium taxes and surcharges by falsifying deductions and credits through the Medicaid program.

Officials with the Presbyterian health system responded Tuesday after New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a lawsuit targeting the system’s health plan and insurance arm.

Presbyterian spokeswoman Melanie Mozes says the company is confident it has acted in good faith and with the intent to comply with its legal obligations and responsibilities.

Mozes says the premium taxes paid by Presbyterian Health Plan have been audited multiple times by independent firms and state agencies. In 2016, she says Presbyterian Health Plan paid more than $52.6 million in premium taxes to the state.

She says the lawsuit will not distract Presbyterian from its mission of improving the health of patients.

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2 p.m.

New Mexico’s top prosecutor is suing one of the state’s largest health insurance providers over allegations that it falsified Medicaid deductions and credits and as a result evaded tens of millions of dollars in premium taxes and surcharges.

State Attorney General Hector Balderas on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Presbyterian Health Plan, Inc.; Presbyterian Network, Inc.; and Presbyterian Insurance Co., Inc.

Officials with the health care system did not immediately return messages seeking comment. Presbyterian has hospitals and clinics around the state and employs nearly 11,000 people.

Balderas says Presbyterian deliberately and systematically underpaid required premium taxes between 2001 and 2015.

The attorney general is working with state auditors on the case. They say it’s part of an ongoing civil and criminal review of Presbyterian and other health care companies.

The lawsuit stems from a previous complaint filed by whistleblowers.

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