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LatinoJustice Uncovers and Reports Pandemic Profiteering and Fraud by a Private Prison Company

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 21, 2022

Contact: Saraí Bejarano|[email protected]|212-739-7581

 

LatinoJustice Uncovers and Reports Pandemic Profiteering and Fraud by a Private Prison Company
MTC Was Paid Millions for Work that it Never Performed

Austin, Texas - A two-year investigation by LatinoJustice PRLDEF has uncovered a pandemic profiteering scheme that has cost Texas taxpayers at least $2 million, run by Management and Training Company (MTC), a private prison company with a long history of fraud, waste, and abuse.

For years, MTC has provided substance abuse treatment programs to people incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). But since early 2020, MTC stopped providing this treatment, and created fraudulent paperwork that it used to bill TDCJ for work it never performed. As a result, people in need of counseling and treatment did not receive it, even as taxpayers provided millions to MTC.

Over the course of two years, LatinoJustice has conducted dozens of interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of documents obtained under the Texas Public Information Act. This investigation showed that, using COVID as a pretext, MTC denied services in order to cut costs, but continued to bill TDCJ as though it had been providing services in full.

Under seventeen separate contracts, TDCJ pays MTC over $100 million per year to provide programming in TDCJ units. By law and contract, MTC must provide group therapy, individual sessions with counselors, and other treatments designed to help those struggling with addiction stay sober upon their release from custody.

When COVID-19 struck TDCJ, MTC sensed an opportunity. Under the guise of COVID restrictions, MTC stopped providing therapeutic treatment that involved MTC counselors or employees. Individuals were given paper worksheets that took ten minutes to fill out, and then threatened with longer jail time if they didn’t fill out fraudulent timesheets claiming they had received four hours of treatment.

“If the parole board thinks that someone should be in a drug treatment program, they should send that person to get treatment in the community,” LatinoJustice Senior Counsel Andrew Case said. “Outsourcing this important work to MTC is a recipe for fraud, and it’s no surprise that MTC took advantage of pandemic conditions to steal from Texas taxpayers.”

LatinoJustice has submitted a complaint, along with hundreds of pages of documentary evidence and signed declarations, to the Texas State Auditor’s Office, an independent state entity charged with investigating fraud, waste, and abuse. We ask the SAO to investigate MTC for its fraudulent conduct under these contracts.

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About LatinoJustice
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For nearly 50 years, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout the country. To learn more about LatinoJustice, visit www.LatinoJustice.org