- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - A state worker who oversaw purchasing at Arizona’s Medicaid program was arrested Wednesday in the suspected fraud and embezzlement of at least $1.5 million from the program starting as early as 2006, Gov. Doug Ducey’s office announced Wednesday.

Michael Veit, 63, was arrested at his Phoenix home, and search warrants were executed at four locations in the Phoenix area, said Mia Garcia, spokeswoman for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Garcia said a second man was also arrested during the raids, but she declined to provide details of his involvement or how the scam allegedly worked. He was not a state employee.

“I’ve made it clear from day one that I take extremely seriously this administration’s duty and commitment to following the law and protecting Arizona taxpayers,” Ducey said in a statement. “The fraudulent activities that led to this arrest are unacceptable, appalling, infuriating and have absolutely no place in state government.”

Ducey’s office said the investigation began after the Medicaid program learned of “potential procurement irregularity.” The state’s Medicaid health insurance program, known as the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, is conducting an audit and reviewing its procedures.

Veit’s job as a contracting and purchasing administrator was to oversee maintenance, facilities and office supply contracts for the agency, spokeswoman Monica Coury said. He had worked for the agency for about 27 years, she said.



The investigation included the agency’s Inspector General, who is a former FBI agent, Coury said. Veit was fired on Aug. 18.

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office launched a criminal investigation after the Inspector General investigation found what appeared to be improper business practices.

“I’m very proud of the special agents and prosecutors in our Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Section, who have worked around the clock to investigate these allegations,” Brnovich said in a statement. “Allegations of this type of fraud are especially alarming and the Attorney General’s Office will move swiftly in the prosecution of individuals who violate the public’s trust.”

Veit’s listed telephone number is disconnected.

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