Bevin Running Mate Mentioned in Medicare Fraud Lawsuit

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Kentucky was one of a dozen doctors federal authorities said received improper gifts from a home health agency.

State Sen. Ralph Alvarado is the running mate of Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. News outlets report the U.S. attorney’s office argued in a lawsuit that Nurses Registry and Home Health broke the law by giving gifts to Alvarado and other doctors to entice them to refer patients. The company settled in 2015 for $16 million.

Court documents show Alvarado received $12,000 in campaign contributions between 2004 and 2010, plus two tickets to University of Kentucky basketball games, tickets to a “coaches night” event and a gift basket in 2010.

Alvarado wasn’t named as a defendant in the civil case or charged. He criticized the reports as an attempt to smear his good reputation.