Ky. official got $200K in kickbacks, feds say

Posted at 10:31 PM, Mar 25, 2016

CINCINNATI -- The former head of the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet under Gov. Steve Beshear took part in a scheme to steer work to a company that paid him more than $200,000 in kickbacks, according to federal officials.

Timothy Longmeyer was accused of bribery in federal court documents filed this week. He's part of a wider probe into fraud and money laundering, federal officials say.

According to an affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent James Huggins, Longmeyer abused his influence over the state employee health plan to steer more than $2,000,000 in consulting contracts with Humana and Anthem to a limited liability company, or LLC.

Over the course of the scheme, the LLC paid Longmeyer $197,500 in cash and another $6,000 in campaign contributions to candidates he'd selected, Huggins wrote. The affidavit didn't identify the LLC or the candidates.

"A representative of the firm personally delivered the cash and straw campaign contributions to Mr. Longmeyer," U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey said Friday.

Here's how the affidavit alleges the scheme worked:

> The LLC got a consulting contract with Humana in August 2009, when Longmeyer was deputy secretary of the Personnel Cabinet. The LLC was supposed to hold focus groups of state employees, to determine their "likes and dislikes of the current health plan" and provide Humana a full report and recommendations.

> Longmeyer gave specific, written directions to the LLC on how much it should charge Humana, how much the LLC should kick back to him and how much it could keep.

> Humana paid $2,008,663 to the LLC between October 2011 and December 2014.

> After it was paid by Humana, LLC representatives converted some of the payments to cash and repaid third parties who'd written campaign contribution checks to candidates Longmeyer selected.

> Longmeyer directed the company to pay him $90,000 from a $118,800 payment by Humana; he got the money in 17 payments of various amounts between Nov. 21, 2014 and Feb. 27, 2015.

> He directed the company pay him $100,000 from a $218,000 payment by Humana; he got $85,000 in 17 cash payments of $5,000 between Feb. 27 and June 19, 2015, along with $6,000 to candidates he'd selected. The company's ledger showed a $9,000 balance.

> Shortly before he stepped down as secretary of the Personnel Cabinet, Longmeyer told the LLC it would get a consulting project from Anthem to do a phone survey about the state employee health plan.

> The LLC was to be paid $48,000 from Anthem, and Longmeyer said he wanted $22,500 of that.

> Anthem paid the LLC $48,000 on Sept. 25, 2015.

> LLC representatives laundered the money to cash, which Huggins saw being delivered to Longmeyer on two occasions: One of the payments, on Oct. 2, 2015, was $5,000, and the other, on Oct. 9, 2015, was $17,5000.

Federal officials say they have video evidence of secretive meetings at a Kroger and McDonald's, as well as audio recordings provided by a paid, confidential informant who worked for the LLC.

In one of those recordings, Huggins wrote, an LLC rep can be heard saying: "Yeah, everything's good; I'm paid off with Tim now."

Huggins' affidavit states that the informant almost backed out but may now have protection from prosecution for his cooperation. More people may be indicted, according to the FBI.

"One person stood up, and they made a difference -- a difference in the entire state -- and we should applaud their courage, and we should ask others to step up and follow that example," Harvey said.

Humana, Anthem and the candidates who received campaign contributions weren't aware of the scheme, according to the affidavit.

Longmeyer stepped down from his post in the Personnel Cabinet last fall and went to work for Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear. He's since resigned from Beshear's office, as well. WCPO attempted to reach Longmeyer for comment Friday night but was unsuccessful.