The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in Colorado recovered more than $5.3 million in settlements and restitution for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

The money compensates the state for Medicaid payments made to providers as the result of fraud, waste and abuse of public money.

“The unit’s work serves as a warning to those who are considering ripping off Colorado’s Medicaid program,” Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said. “If you abuse the public trust, we will hold you accountable.”

The amount of restitution has climbed steadily for the past decade, with the bulk of the money from interstate global settlements made between large companies and the federal government.

The Medicaid fraud unit includes two criminal prosecutors, eight investigators, an auditor and a registered nurse investigator.