(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Investigators in Ohio are looking into allegations that some county Medicaid workers advised men posing as Russian drug dealers how to get government health care benefits.
Conservative activist James O’Keefe posted a video on his Project Veritas website Monday that shows two men presenting themselves at the offices of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services as Russian drug dealers.
A Franklin County case worker appears to advise the men to describe their occupation as "babysitting" and tells them their homes will not be searched as part of their Medicaid application. The woman also tells the men she "just wouldn't mention" the sports car they imported for $800,000 when they fill out their application, adding "You didn’t hear it from me."
When the two men state they need an abortion for an underage sister who performs sexual favors for their drug clients, the state worker refers them to Planned Parenthood. The video also features footage from meetings with a second case worker and audio from a phone conversation with a third.
Politico.com reports Ben Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, called the video "extremely troubling" and said the matter was under investigation.
Johnson further stated that the conversations were not part of a formal benefits process, which requires proof of U.S. citizenship, and that some of the issues the video raises "would have eventually come to light in the application process."
Johnson also stated the staffers involved were all county employees, not state workers, but added, "Should the video turn out to be accurate, we would hope the counties would at the very least discipline these workers."
O’Keefe has previously targeted organizations including Planned Parenthood, ACORN, and NPR by using hidden cameras to record conversations. In the past, he exposed Planned Parenthood workers who advised O'Keefe and his associates how they could legally be provided abortion and birth control services to underaged prostitutes. The ACORN sting featured some employees advising O'Keefe -- dressed like a pimp, accompanied by a scantily-dressed associate "playing" a hooker -- on how he could dodge taxes for a fictitious prostitution ring. In NPR's case, former executive Ron Schiller was caught on tape blasting Republicans and the Tea Party as unintelligent racists.
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