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McCaskill Friend and Donor Paid $8.3M to Feds for Medicare Fraud

The Missouri senator has raked in more than $60,000 from a man who admitted to committing Medicare fraud over a seven-year period.

According to an analysis by the Kansas City Star, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) relies heavily on donor Rick DeStefane. So heavily, in fact, that her personal vacations rely on DeStefane, who co-owns a vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks with McCaskill’s husband.

DeStefane has contributed massively to McCaskill’s political campaigns, according to the Star:

Since McCaskill first announced in 2005 she would run for the U.S. Senate, DeStefane has given $14,600 to her campaign committee, the maximum amount allowed.

When counting the dollars he sent to her joint fundraising committees and supportive political action committees, DeStefane’s contribution to McCaskill’s federal campaigns totals $61,200, according to an analysis of election records by The Star and the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog.

While close donor relationships are not necessarily unusual, DeStefane’s most recent donation of $5,400 – the maximum allowable during the current election cycle – came two days before he settled an agreement with the federal government over Medicare fraud committed by his company, Reliant Care Group:

Reliant management reportedly pressured therapists to provide services they did not believe were medically necessary and sought inflated reimbursement from Medicare “influenced by its own financial considerations,” according to settlement documents released by the Justice Department.

DeStefane and Reliant agreed to repay the federal government $8.3 million “to avoid the delay, uncertainty, inconvenience and expense of protracted litigation,” the settlement reads. He denied any wrongdoing.

According to the agreement signed by DeStefane, his company knowingly submitted false claims from Jan. 1, 2008 to June 30, 2014.

McCaskill refused to speak to the Star about DeStefane, but she did submit a statement in which she claimed she fights “every day for Missourians.”