Skip To Content
Fast Forward

State Met With Lakewood Jewish Group Before Offering Medicaid Fraud Amnesty

New Jersey officials met exclusively with representatives of the Lakewood Vaad, an Orthodox Jewish group, while planning a controversial Medicaid fraud amnesty program, the Asbury Park Press reported last week.

The amnesty program, offered only in Ocean County, New Jersey, allowed Medicaid fraudsters to repay illicit benefits without facing prosecution. The program came after officials arrested more than a dozen members of Lakewood’s Orthodox community on Medicaid fraud charges this spring. Critics of the amnesty program charged that it favored the Orthodox community.

The Asbury Park Press’s report found that New Jersey officials met only with Vaad representatives while planning the amnesty offer. Leaders of local Hispanic and African-American groups said they were taken by surprise when the program was announced.

“Nothing to us at all. No one reached out,” Alejandra Morales, president of a local immigrant right’s group, told the Asbury Park Press.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at [email protected] or on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.