Activist groups vilified state auditors when White questioned the income of certain recipients, says he was misleading the public. The U.S. Attorney’s case proves otherwise.

On Thursday, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi Darren J. LaMarca announced that Manpreet Kamboj and Gurdev Kamboj (aka David Singh) agreed to pay $130,000 to resolve allegations that they knowingly falsified income to unlawfully create eligibility for Mississippi Medicaid health care benefits for their dependents.

U.S. Attorney LaMarca said that the Medicaid Program is intended to provide access to quality health coverage for vulnerable Mississippians.

“Our office will continue to pursue those individuals who unlawfully deplete valuable resources allocated for Medicaid eligible individuals and families,” LaMarca stated.

“Despite Medicaid’s low-income requirement, the United States contends that Manpreet Kamboj and Gurdev Kamboj collectively owned and/or were associated with 48 convenience store/gas stations located in Mississippi and Louisiana,” a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi said.

The Kambojs also own a five-bedroom 7,850 square foot home located in Madison, Mississippi, most recently valued at 1.3 million dollars.

“According to the United States, the Kambojs falsely represented on various Mississippi Medicaid health care benefit applications and renewals that one of them was unemployed and that the household derived income from one convenience store/gas station,” the release continued.

The United States alleges that from August 29, 2011, to February 28, 2022, the Kambojs caused the MDOM to pay over $70,000 in health care coverage benefits to which they were not entitled.

State Auditor of Mississippi Shad White issued a statement in response to the federal prosecutors’ statement on Friday.

State Auditor Shad White said that last year, the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor released an audit that compared the income people claimed when they applied to be on Medicaid versus what they made according to their state income tax return.

Auditor White pointed out at the time that there were two individuals who own multi-million dollar homes and declared high incomes on their most recent tax returns, but also receive Medicaid benefits.

“The ACLU and other groups called me and my team every name in the book for this audit,” White said in a statement. “When I personally told the head of the ACLU about people lying to get on Medicaid, he said ‘That’s not happening.’ They fought me when I wanted access to state income tax returns. The Southern Poverty Law Center said I was ‘misleading’ people. The Mississippi Center for Justice said Medicaid was working just fine.”

“Yesterday, federal prosecutors announced two Mississippians—who ‘own a five-bedroom 7,850 square foot home located in Madison, Mississippi, most recently valued at 1.3 million dollars’—are being forced to repay $130,000 to Medicaid,” White continued. “The prosecutors say they ‘falsely represented’ their income and that they own or are associated with 48 convenience stores. This, of course, shows that my team’s work was valid and that the groups who criticized our work were wrong.”

Auditor White said that he does not expect an apology to his auditors from those groups because they “would never let the facts get in the way of their narrative.”

“But I do want taxpayers to know we’re watching, and we will not be bullied by these groups. The purpose of our audit was to ensure only the people who are actually eligible for Medicaid are allowed to be on Medicaid, and we will keep doing that work,” the Mississippi Auditor added.

“The Auditor’s office does not have the authority to prosecute its own cases, so I’m grateful to the federal prosecutors who are pursuing cases like this,” White concluded.