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Wilson Times (Newspaper) - June 3, 2015, Wilson, North Carolina
Audit questionable purchases detailed continued from Page 1a Beulaville is a government funded managed care organization responsible for the management and oversight of the states Public system of mental health developmental disabilities and substance abuse services for its 12-county service area including Wilson county. Eastpointe is supported through Federal state and local funds. Eastpointe operates an estimated $310 million budget has close to 300 employees and contracts with 500 providers. The majority of its budget More than 70 percent is supported by medicaid funds. Eastpointe began receiving medicaid funding in 2013. The report found that the co received $547,595 through a Kickback scheme with two contractors one who was not licensed or insured and personally selected by the co. From 2010 to 2013, Eastpointe paid two contractors More than $1 million for renovations to Eastpoint buildings. The contractors then paid the co $547,595. One contractor told investigators he Only wrote one Check but 16 personal checks were found. Even though Jones said tuesday that none of the misappropriation have impacted our service to members or providers a the audit repeatedly states that the Money could have been used otherwise to provide client services. Baker said the funds were earmarked for administrative purposes and came from fund balance resources. A was a result the funding available to North Carolina residents in need of mental health or substance abuse services was reduced by a corresponding Dollar amount Quot the audit states. The co circumvented internal controls and avoided state bidding requirements for work and equipment purchases by dividing each into a sections or rooms allowing the Agency to circumvent the bidding the co also conspired with a former county manager not identified in the report to avoid any annual audit report findings Eastpointe a attorney said. The former co also made $143,041 in vehicle purchases without any documented business Purchase and used the vehicles for his personal use according to the audit. He also purchased a $15,900 tractor and $2,700 trencher for personal use and stored the vehicles at his Home. The trencher remained at his House several years without any detection from Eastpointe management. The co also made questionable credit card purchases including a $4,500 Down payment for repair work on his personal fishing boat $935 for fish finder software and $933 in Dicks sporting goods purchases the audit found. Other purchases made include $2,950 for two Walmart gift cards and $1,741 fort Tosh cans flashlights a Patio door and other Home improvement items. The Agency Sceo was also found to have made nearly $19, he in questionable credit card purchases including a $5,300 staff luncheon $1,045 for Duffel bags for Board member Christmas gifts $575 for Pecan Brittle and chocolate covered pecans for a Board Christmas party and $245 in Walmart gift cards. Jones said tuesday the Walmart cards were presented As gifts in leu of employees receiving bonuses. Jones also said that the credit card purchases were allowable local expenditures which the audit discounts. The audit found that the purchases were made with state and Federal funds As Well. Eastpointe Board chairman James Simmons said that Jones purchases were not found to be illegal. The purchases a appeared unallowable based on Federal and state spending guidelines Quot the audit found. The allegations regarding the former co Are being investigated by the state Bureau of investigation and the North Carolina attorney general. Ski spokeswoman Teresa West talks next for Bill to lift sunday Hunt ban with guns Raleigh a House and Senate negotiators will next try to work out their differences Over versions of a Bill that would lift North Carolina s Long time ban on Hunting on sundays while using a gun. The House rejected tuesday the Senate s proposal leading to a conference committee that will attempt to forge a Compromise. The major difference Between the two versions is that the Senate would Kaleigh a legislation it Wing North Carolina dents living illegally in . To obtain Driver s a mits is still intact at the neral Assembly although future is Uncertain i majority voting in the a use finance commit on tuesday rejected a posed amendment that Giuld have deleted the vision related to issuing a one year a a restricted permit. But the committee did t vote on the whole Bill which also contains tougher penalties for people Selling bogus Driver s licenses and identification cards. No Date was set to reconsider the measure which passed another committee in april. The associated press confirmed on tuesday the ski is investigating the allegations in the report. The ski initiated the investigation on nov. 26,2014, at the request of Onslow county District attorney Ernie Lee West said. Some of the audit findings have been turned Over to the internal Revenue service and the n c. Department of Revenue to determine if there is evidence to pursue criminal charges. No charges have been issued to Date Eastpointe attorney said. Eastpointe May also seek Legal action. A Eastpointe intends to take action a Charleston said. A it has not taken any Legal action to Charleston also said that Eastpointe employees Are bonded which should help the Agency recover some of the financial losses the audit also recommends a stronger evaluation process for appointed members to the governing Board. A the North Carolina department of health and human services and the North Carolina general Assembly should consider evaluating the process for appointing members of the governing boards of managed care organizations a the audit states. A Emco governing boards should include individuals with sufficient education and experience to ensure accountability for Public funding and minimize operational the state recommends Eastpointe area Board should pursue Legal action to recover any misappropriated Money. Further Eastpointe area Board should strengthen procedures to prevent unnecessary equipment purchases establish a comprehensive policy for the assignment and use of credit cards and improve their oversight and procedural compliance to reduce the risk of operational failures. Eastpointe receives government funds from the counties it serves and requested $349,317 from Wilson county in the upcoming budget. I Ess than 2 percent of East jointed a budget is supported by the counties it serves. Wilson county was formerly served by the Beacon Center which merged with Southeastern regional and East Jointe in 2012. In addition to Wilson county Eastpointe also serves Greene Nash Bladen Columbus Robeson Scotland Duplin. Lenoir Sampson and Wayne counties. Ron Hunt assistant county manager said Wilson county has a Strong history of funding human services programs such As mental health. A we know there is a value to this Community Quot he said. A we have a High Confidence level in the current Eastpointe and think they Are spending our Money wisely. They also Send out information that indicates How their dollars Are being spent in the counties they after reviewing the report he noted a great majority of these funds that two individuals were accused of mismanaging happened under legacy Eastpointe the Agency prior to Wilson county merging into the larger Eastpointe Agency. A within nine Monte of the merger Eastpointe discovered the irregularities Quot Wilson county commissioner Rob Boyette said. Quot they investigated. They hired a forensic accounting firm to do an investigation of what happened not just for what that individual did but the investigation included everything at the time of the merger. So we area far better lion today by Boyette serves on the Eastpointe Board. The audit includes a letter from Eastpointe officials who said their compliance department detected irregular activities in Early 2013 and forwarded them to the ceo which led to the firing of the co at the time. On May 29,2014, Eastpointe representatives contacted and met with the District attorney to report the preliminary results of an internal forensic investigation. Eastpointe representatives also requested a meeting with the ski financial crimes unit for purposes of reporting its findings contained in the Eastpointe report. The meeting with the ski occurred on july 22, 2014. After the meeting with the ski the special agent in charge communicated to East pointers representatives in writing on july 24, 2014 that a it is evident that you All have completed a thorough investigation and we look Forward to working with you on this Quot Simmons said tuesday that the Agency and its Board is taking Swift action in response to the findings. Eastpointe officials say they have taken immediate action to improve their internal controls to deter fraud and reduce future risk Fin ii ii wit Titnik to i 265 7818 Only allow firearm Hunting after noon on sundays. The House version would apply All Day. Both Bills agree on additional exceptions. Hunting with guns could Only be allowed on private property and at least 500 Yards away from a Church or a House not on the property. Wake and Mecklenburg counties would be immediately exempt and other counties could opt out of sunday Hunting in 2017. The associated press a restricted driving permit for immigrants still intact i Quot i a a keep your Cool with new furniture from Hirn Turq 9/opes j 4315 Raleigh re. Parkway Hwy. 264 w. Near i-95 252 399-4839 a 252 205-0121
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