Arizona Medicaid fraud basics
Criminal groups in Arizona have opened hundreds of fraudulent drug-rehab and sober-living centers for the express purpose of defrauding Medicaid
These criminal groups lured thousands of Native Americans to these centers under the guise of treating addiction, but with the express purpose of inducing them to apply for the American Indian Access Program within the Arizona Medicaid system
These criminal groups then billed the American Indian Access Program for services never provided to the victims, defrauding Arizona out of hundreds of millions of dollars
Arizona Medicaid fraud in New Mexico
Since early 2022, there have been criminal “victim transporters” associated with the rehabs driving the streets of New Mexico tribal communities and cities, with the intention of luring Native Americans to the fraudulent centers
Since January 2023, there were a minimum of 12 “victim transporter” crews diving the streets of Albuquerque, promising incentives to the victims, such as money, clothing, permanent housing, motel rooms, gift cards, continuing-education funding, drugs or alcohol.
Once in Arizona, many of the centers forced victims out of the fraudulent rehab as soon as they signed up for the American Indian Axis and state food-stamp programs, effectively stranding the victims on the streets in Arizona
On June 1, 2023, the FBI closed 200 of these centers, forcing the victims living in those centers out to the street
On June 21, 2023, the Navajo Nation declared a public health state of emergency due to the estimated 5,000-8,000 tribal members impacted, missing or on the streets of Phoenix due to the Arizona Medicaid fraud
As of July, 2023, several “victim transporter” crews continue to operate in Albuquerque and an unknown number of New Mexicans from across the state and tribal communities remain missing as a result of Arizona Medicaid fraud
Arizona Medicaid fraud descriptions
It started in January 2023 with one vehicle — a White Chevy Astro van.
It was approaching Native people living on the streets in Albuquerque and offering to take them to a resort-like rehab in Arizona. Soon, there were a lot more vehicles. All with the same promises,
Through all of it, our goal has been to empower through information. We made up description lists of all the vehicles and their crews. And put up warning signs around town,
Over time, the descriptions have changed and some of the "victim transport" crews have faded away. But we keep putting our "Rehab Scam Update" into people's hands as we tell them the latest news.
How we warned people
The photos below show how the handouts and signs we made started off being only a few sentences, but as we collected more information, they ended up filling entire pages.