DHS alleges overpayment to Minnesota tribes

By: News Director Larissa Donovan and Katherine Jones

ST. PAUL– The Department of Human Services claim they overpaid $25 million to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the White Earth Nation.

Officials with the DHS and the Leech Lake Band met Wednesday to discuss matters relating to the Medication Assisted Therapy Program.

During this meeting, it was alleged the Band received an overpayment of $13 million into MAT funds.

The DHS is requesting a $10 million payback of these funds.

The Band denies any claims made that they are responsible for this overpayment, and they are dissatisfied with how these government-to-government conversations have gone.

DHS also alleges another $11 million was overpaid to the White Earth Nation.

According to a release from White Earth Vice Chairman Eugene Tibbetts, they alerted DHS about the overpayments and several tribal employees resigned in the midst of the band’s recent audits.

The release also states that:

“Because DHS and the State were the architects of the billing structure that is being recalled… the situation calls for shared responsibilities.”

Eugene “Umsy” Tibbetts, White Earth Nation Vice Chairman

DHS is also under investigation for fraud within its child care assistance program.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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