Local News

Jim Black ally told to repay $1.4M to Medicare

Posted January 2, 2020 6:00 p.m. EST

Former Speaker of the House Jim Black spent three years in prison for his role in campaign finance corruption.

Now, a key player who helped funnel illegal donations to Black in a separate case is fighting to keep his eye business in the Medicare program.

In 2007, Black was sent to prison for taking thousands of dollars in cash from chiropractors to push through a measure to lower copays.

He was also convicted on state charges.

Black also received illegal campaign donations from a political action committee for optometrists though he wasn't convicted of charges related to those donations.

Scott Edwards is the man who funneled that money by getting checks without the payee line filled out and giving them to Black's campaign.

Edwards refused to testify during an investigation into donations.

Now, 10 years after Edwards pleaded guilty, the government decided to kick him out of the Medicare program.

During that time, he received more than $1 million in Medicare reimbursements for providing eye care, and the government not only wants to kick him out of the program but wants that money back.

In a newly filed federal lawsuit, Edwards questions the timing, saying he admitted twice to committing a felony when he applied to have his Medicare license renewed, and it was approved both times.

He wants the court to reverse both agency decisions so he can keep his Medicare payments and remain in the program.

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