Blue Cross fires 44 after retirement plan probe

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The state's largest health care insurer has fired dozens of employees accused of falsifying retirement plan documents.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) confirmed the terminations late Monday after numerous inquiries from WAFB 9NEWS over the past several weeks.

"Forty-four employees at BCBSLA headquarters in Baton Rouge have been terminated," the company said in a written statement.  "All of the terminations involve employees who provided false documentation in order to obtain a hardship withdrawal from their retirement plan account," the statement said.

Sources told WAFB several of the cases involved employees who provided false eviction notices or home purchase agreements to attempt to qualify for hardship withdrawals.

The company spokesman added that they look into matters as they arise and don't know of any more inappropriate withdrawals at this time.

Blue Cross said this is "not a criminal matter" and no law enforcement agency is investigating.  The State Attorney General's Office says it is not involved.

According to the company website, BCBSLA employs about 2,000 workers statewide.

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