In conjunction with our Investigations Unit, we examined select payments the Department of Health (Department) made to the American Academy of Pediatrics, District II (AAP) under contract C028275.After identifying questionable payments made under that contract, we expanded our scope to include select payments under contracts C018189 and C022937. We sought to determine whether the expenses were bona fide and made in accordance with the contracts.
During the period February 16, 2006 through August 13, 2013, the Department paid AAP approximately $1.5 million under these contracts for expenses related to various immunization initiatives.
To date, we found that the Executive Director of AAP falsely certified and submitted to the Department 16 Standard Vouchers and 1 Claim for Payment (together referenced as “vouchers”) as “just, true and correct; that no part thereof has been paid except as stated and that the balance is actually due and owing” which our examination revealed to contain material false information related to charges for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, program materials, hotel expenses, fringe benefits allegedly paid to the Executive Director and his Administrative Assistant, and wages reportedly paid to the AAP webmaster. In six instances, the Executive Director submitted false third-party vendor documents in support of inflated charges on the AAP invoices – including four documents he created or altered. As a result of these fraudulent certifications and documents, AAP received at least $87,070.40 to which it was not entitled.
Based upon our examination, on February 28, 2014, George Dunkel, the Executive Director of the AAP, was arrested and charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree (a class C felony) and four counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree (a class E felony).
We will continue to work with the Office of the Attorney General as part of the Comptroller and Attorney General’s Joint Task Force on Public Integrity. We will continue to evaluate these and other expenditures under the contracts and will share our findings with the Department in a separate report.
Bernard J. McHugh
Division of Contracts and Expenditures
Bernard J. McHugh, Director of State Expenditures
Phone: (518) 474-4868; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of Contracts and Expenditures; 110 State Street, 10th Floor; Albany, NY 12236