Springfield school district files $1M fraud lawsuit

Springfield City School District’s Clark Center that houses the district’s headquarters. Bill Lackey/Staff

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Springfield City School District’s Clark Center that houses the district’s headquarters. Bill Lackey/Staff

Springfield City School District filed a lawsuit in Clark County Common Pleas Court against an Arkansas company it alleges defrauded them of more than $1 million.

The board of education has sued Computer Automation System Inc., alleging it paid the company about $240,000 for it to file the district’s Medicaid paperwork so it would be reimbursed in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The district says in the suit that it received notice that the paperwork filed lacked compliance with administrative regulations and it wouldn’t be receiving more than $900,000 it thought it would be paid.

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The lawsuit alleges breach of contract, unjust enrichment, fraud and negligence. Computer Automation System Inc. didn’t return phone calls seeking comment from the Springfield News-Sun.

The district offers students certain services it should get reimbursed for by the Ohio Department of Medicaid if the paperwork is done properly, Springfield City Schools Treasurer Dale Miller said.

“We should get reimbursed for some of the services we provided to our students, like speech therapy,” Miller said.

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The services provided by the schools are important for many of its students, Miller said, and the district works hard to provide their students what they need to succeed.

The district outsourced the work to fill out the reimbursement forms, he said, and the lawsuit contends Automation System Inc. advertised itself as a company that knew how to file the paperwork properly.

“They were to help prepare all the documentation,” Miller said.

However the lawsuit alleges an employee at the company was assigned to the district but at some point soon after died unexpectedly. The district alleges the company failed to appoint a new employee to handle the district’s account.

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“In submitting such Medicaid reimbursement claims, (the school) relied upon (Computer Automation System Inc.) to ensure the claims were prepared, documented and submitted in accordance with all relevant administrative and regulatory requirements,” the lawsuit says.

The district accuses the company in the lawsuit of breaching its contract because the company allegedly failed to provide the services and didn’t train, consult or advise technical assistance to Springfield schools. It also accuses the company of not providing proper reporting or auditing support that the agreement required.

The lawsuit also accuses the company of being negligent, saying the company had the duty to “provide the services to (the school) in a competent, workmanlike, professional and/or reasonably prudent manner, and/or in accordance with the standards of care applicable to Medicaid claims administrators and consultants.”

The school alleges the company failed to do this and the school is out more than $1 million because of it.

$1.15 million: Money sought by Springfield City Schools from Computer Automation Systems

$240,000: Money Springfield City Schools paid Computer Automation Systems for Medicaid services

$912,328: Money Springfield City Schools believe they lost because of Medicaid issues.

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