September 19, 2013 - 4:57pm
A Travis County judge has awarded more than $22,000 in legal fees to an Amarillo law firm that helped expose more than $1 million in Medicaid fraud at a local orthodontics clinic.
Amarillo attorney Phil Russ, who represented three former employees of Goodwin Orthodontics, credited Kristen De Los Santos, Sandy De Los Santos and Lissa Eason with exposing health care fraud at the clinic that led to the federal conviction of Amarillo orthodontist David Goodwin.
“The money needs to go to those women,” Russ said Thursday. “This is an example of how responsible citizens can help save our taxpayer dollars from being drained away from government programs by fraud. It takes a whistleblower who sees it happening to sound the alarm, because fraud is a game of stealth and concealment.”
On Wednesday, a Travis County judge awarded the state of Texas and the three Amarillo women more than $4.2 million in damages against Goodwin and the clinic in a whistleblower lawsuit.
Russ said Thursday the women could receive some money from the case if the state and federal authorities collect enough restitution from Goodwin and the clinic. If state and federal authorities collect $4 million from the clinic, the women could theoretically split $630,000 to $840,000, he said.