The founder of a radical anti-choice organization known as Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust pleaded guilty last week to defrauding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces of at least $27 million.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the guilty plea on October 12, detailing the charges against Jeff White, a longtime anti-choice activist based in California, and his son, Nicholas White. The Whites, according to the DOJ, conspired to defraud ACA marketplaces “by fraudulently enrolling individuals in ACA plans in states where the individuals did not live.”
Jeff and Nicholas White created “phony residential leases using fictitious landlords in various states” to defraud the ACA, also known as Obamacare, according to the DOJ. They used an online application to secure “false cell phone numbers for the individuals with area codes that made it appear that the individuals lived at the fictitious addresses, and provided the false cell phone numbers to the ACA plans.”
The Whites were paid thousands for each referral to an addiction treatment program, while they “enrolled the individuals in ACA plans in states that paid the highest amount for substance abuse treatment, even though the individuals did not live in those states,” according to the DOJ.
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“This case is believed to be the first of its kind involving fraudulent enrollment of individuals in ACA plans on a national scale,” U.S. Attorney John H. Durham said in a statement, adding that fraud schemes can result in higher insurance premiums in the ACA marketplaces.
Jeff White, who has railed against Obamacare in online posts, claimed in a recent Facebook post that he defrauded the Obamacare marketplace to help addicts receive medical care. Writing that he placed more than 300 people into addiction treatment through the defrauding scheme, he claimed the ACA fraud did not “line my own pockets.”
“It was a criminal conspiracy I owned up to and, therefore, I freely entered a plea,” he wrote on Facebook.
The Whites, who were released on bond, face up to ten years in prison. Their sentencing is scheduled for January 4.
According to the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust website, Jeff White was a member of Operation Rescue—an anti-choice group with a long history of encouraging violence against abortion care providers—from 1988 to 1998. He founded the American Anti-Persecution League, which provides legal help to anti-choice protesters, according to the organization’s website.
Editorial and Research Associate Laura Huss contributed to this report.