RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw's last chance to prove he didn't shortchange the federal government in a 2004 settlement will be before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Sept. 7, judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit voted not to hear McGraw's appeal of a decision that says he owes more than $400,000 to the federal agency that administers Medicaid. That decision likely means McGraw will lose another case in which the feds allege he owes them $2.7 million.

A three-judge panel of Fourth Circuit judges ruled in July that McGraw structured a settlement with pharmaceuticals manufacturer Dey Inc. in such a way that it prevented the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from claiming $446,607. CMS is part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.

McGraw's final appeal, if he chooses to file it, would be to the U.S. Supreme Court. He had asked the entire roster of Fourth Circuit judges to review the three-judge panel's decision.

"(T)his case presents a matter of exceptional importance," McGraw's petition for en banc review, filed in August, says. "The requirement 'that federally imposed conditions be stated unambiguously-emanates from the very structure of our system of governance.'

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