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Obamacare architect under investigation for possible 'phantom billing' and tax fraud

Jonathan Gruber

(NaturalNews) The man behind the byzantine and oppressive healthcare reform law known as Obamacare is currently being investigated for alleged phony billing and possible tax violations.

As reported by Breitbart News, Jonathan Gruber's billing practices are being examined by Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer. Also, the news site noted, Gruber is being investigated for "phantom billing," according to Darcie Johnston, head of Vermonters for Health Care Freedom.

"Jonathan Gruber has failed to provide any evidence that the $80,000 he's been paid by the state of Vermont for 800 hours of work he claimed was performed by unidentified research assistants was actually performed, or that these research assistants even exist and were paid," Johnston told Breitbart News.

"There's a term in health care for the practice of billing for services not provided. It's called 'phantom billing,' and when doctors or health care providers do this, they face criminal charges," Johnston said.

Gruber is facing mounting legal issues regarding his lucrative consulting business, from which he has earned an estimated $5 million over the past four years, most from federal and state contracts.

Brady Toensing, a white-collar criminal defense attorney, told the news site that "if [an] investigation uncovers sufficient evidence that Gruber padded his bills, he could be charged by the state with contract fraud or by the feds with mail or wire fraud."

The net is widening

Breitbart News reported that Gruber could also face legal issues under the federal False Claims Act, which permits whistleblowers to file lawsuits against individuals or corporations found to have defrauded the federal government.

The news site further reported:

To date, Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer's inquiry has not addressed the possibility that Gruber's receipt of $80,000 for work he claims was done by research assistants may be "phantom billing."

Hoffer has asked for only the minimal information from Gruber about his research assistants: their names, employment status, and contact information. Gruber has refused to provide this information.

Thus far, Gruber has reportedly not responded to Hoffer's requests for information. However, the state auditor has subpoena power and thus could order up all of Gruber's business documents, financial records and bank statements related to his Vermont state contract.

Enforcement of that subpoena would require cooperation from the attorney general of Massachusetts, Democrat Maura Healey, Breitbart News reported (Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and lives in the state). So far, the Massachusetts attorney general's office has not responded to questions from the news site about whether Healey would cooperate on enforcement of a Vermont subpoena.

Gruber made headlines recently when audio and video surfaced of him claiming to have been a primary force behind the development of the Affordable Care Act and stating that Americans could not be trusted to make good decisions about their own healthcare.

Others are also making inquiries

In this video clip, Gruber explains how he and Obama schemed to hide the fact that Obamacare imposed massive taxes on benefits:

The thing that is real cost control, that we know it'll work, go after this. Now the problem is, it's a political nightmare. And people say, "No, you can't tax my benefits." ... So, what we did a lot in that room [at the White House] [was] talk about... well, how could we make this work? And Obama's like, "Well, you know..." -- I mean, he's a really realistic guy -- he's like, "I can't just do this. It's just not gonna happen politically. The bill will not pass. How do we manage to get there through phase-ins and other things?" And we talked about it. Um... and he was just very interested in that topic. That ultimately became the genesis of what's called the "Cadillac tax" in the healthcare bill, which I think is one of the most important and bravest parts of the healthcare law...

Besides Vermont, officials with the state of Minnesota and the House Government Oversight and Reform Committee have confirmed they are also looking into Gruber's billing practices and consulting contracts. Also, the Inspector General's Office of the Department of Health and Human Services is considering an inquiry, Breitbart News reported.





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