Rick Santorum, 'Stealth Lobbyist'

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Justice Dept. Investigates UHS for Alleged Medicaid Fraud

While Santorum served on the board, UHS faced allegations from the U.S. Department of Justice that it engaged in Medicaid fraud. U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Timothy J. Heaphy alleged at the time that the company billed Medicaid for psychiatric medical care it never provided. "We will not sit idly by and allow healthcare providers to take advantage of troubled children in order to feed their own desire for wealth," he said. "The Medicaid system was designed to help the most vulnerable among us, not to line the pockets of fraudsters." Court records show the company disputed the charges and, earlier this year, the case entered settlement negotiations. UHS has not responded to calls from ABC News seeking comment on the case.

When asked about the Virginia case recently, Santorum told Yahoo News, "Any investigation, you obviously engage and fully cooperate with it, and that's what we did ... that's part of the responsibility of directors."

Miller, the UHS chairman, praised Santorum's work for the company, saying upon Santorum's departure from the board last year that "Rick's guidance and stewardship will be sorely missed."

Another of Santorum's post-Senate employers has been Consol Energy Inc., a Pennsylvania firm that describes itself as the leading diversified fuel producer in the eastern United States, responsible for mining more high-quality bituminous coal than any other U.S. producer.

Santorum also joined a Virginia-based consulting firm called the Clapham Group, which was founded in 2007 by Rick Rodgers, who served for 16 years as the former senator's chief of staff. A co-founder was media coordinator for the Senate Republican Conference under Santorum. The group's clients have ranged from the Jonas Brothers to the American Bible Society, according to the firm's web site. Clapham says its mission is to "influence culture upstream of the political arena." He received $125,000 for his efforts on behalf of the firm's clients.

At the same time, Santorum's experience and standing in national conservative circles helped him broker lucrative media contracts, including a $239,153-a-year consulting deal with Fox News and a talk radio contract with California-based Salem Radio.

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By Washington standards, Allison said, Santorum has had a typical career trajectory -- not unlike that of many Democrats and Republicans, including Newt Gingrich, another former D.C. insider who has returned to politics to seek the GOP nomination for president in 2012.

"It's trading on your Washington expertise to make a good bit of money," Allison said. "It's a common practice."

Trevor Ladd contributed to this report.

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