Oregon

Just a tad illegal.

PORTLAND, Ore. – You already know the process that led to the failed rollout of the Cover Oregon website was bad.

But was it criminally bad?

Former Republican state Rep. Patrick Sheehan told the KATU Investigators he has gone to the FBI with allegations that Cover Oregon project managers initiated the design of dummy web pages to convince the federal government the project was further along than it actually was.

If Sheehan’s allegations are true, those managers could face time in jail for fraud.

“One of the allegations that was made was so alarming that it went way beyond a legislative oversight committee and so I did reach out and contact the FBI,” Sheehan said.

“The issue had to do with federal funding and proving some amount of compliance with the federal regulation in order to get funding.”

To which funding is he referring?

Early in its life, Cover Oregon was given a $48 million “early innovator” grant from the federal government. That amount would later grow to $59 million.

There were a few strings attached though.

To keep the money flowing, the website would have to hit specific benchmarks between 2011 and 2013. The state needed to show the feds it had picked a company to provide software and technical assistance; it had to demonstrate that the website was safe from hackers; and, most importantly, it had to show that people could actually sign up for insurance on the website.

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