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City of Bonham employee charged with insurance fraud
By Allen Rich
Mar 9, 2018
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Bonham -- It was an unfortunate end to a career with the City of Bonham that spanned almost four decades when city employee Kathy Ball was arraigned before Municipal Court Judge John Skotnik on Thursday morning, March 8, 2018 and charged with insurance fraud.

Ms. Ball was a 37-year employee for the City of Bonham.

Indications are that a significant amount of the City of Bonham's insurance claims during the past 18 months went to Ms. Ball's son, Justin Ball, who is not employed by the city and therefore not eligible to receive insurance benefits, yet was enrolled in the program by Ms. Ball in her capacity as the city's Human Resource Director.

Justin Ball was also reportedly arraigned before Judge Skotnik and charged with insurance fraud.

A spike in healthcare costs resulted in the city paying out approximately $200,000 more for claims than was budgeted last year. Almost all budget projections made the prevous fiscal year by city staff hit their marks except for this glaring exception, which resulted in a FY 2017 budget overrun. 

This budget overage contributed to the need for a slight increase to the city’s tax rate.

Last year's tax rate was 0.6700 per $100 of taxable value and the rate for the current fiscal year was bumped up to 0.6864 per $100 of taxable value.

As city staff worked with insurance representatives to understand the unusual spike in healthcare costs and examined the list of city employees one-by-one, it became apparent that many of the claims could be traced to a person who was not employed by the city.

The courts will decide punishment, which could include restitution.