Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing
Since taking office in 2011, my office has aggressively investigated and prosecuted Medicaid fraud—recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for Florida taxpayers. This week, we finalized a multistate settlement bringing the total funds recovered by my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit to more than $700 million. This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our MFCU investigators to stop Medicaid fraud and protect Florida taxpayers.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General last week presented our office with its top award for fighting fraud. The HHS OIG selected our MFCU from 50 fraud units nationwide to receive the Award of Excellence in Fighting Waste, Fraud and Abuse. I am honored Florida is being recognized nationally for the investigative and prosecutorial work we do daily to protect taxpayer funds and ensure justice is served. During the last fiscal year alone, our MFCU obtained more than $165 million in total recoveries, second highest in the nation.
This milestone is great news, but we must remain vigilant. Criminals are scheming every day to steal from taxpayers—but our $700 million in total recoveries serves as a warning to anyone looking to defraud Florida’s Medicaid program, that our MFCU investigators will stop at nothing to protect Florida taxpayers.
In closing, I want to offer my condolences to the family of Florida Highway Patrol Master Sergeant William T. Bishop and our entire law enforcement community. Master Sergeant Bishop lost his life in the line of duty this past weekend—and today, surrounded by friends and family, was laid to rest. I was honored to celebrate his life and speak at Master Sergeant Bishop’s funeral service. He was a law enforcement officer and an Army veteran. While we can never repay his service, we keep his family, friends and Florida’s law enforcement community in our thoughts and prayers. Let us never forget what our brave officers do every day to keep us safe.
$54 Million Settlement Reached With CareCore National to Resolve False Claims Allegations
Attorney General Pam Bondi and 20 other states joined the federal government in a settlement with CareCore National, LLC, resolving allegations that the company caused false claims to be submitted to government health care programs. CareCore provides utilization management services that determines whether services are medically necessary. CareCore allegedly instituted a scheme to auto-approve hundreds of radiology service requests on a daily basis, deeming the diagnostic services as reasonable and medically necessary, even though appropriate medical personnel did not evaluate the cases. More.
Orlando Area Man Arrested for $3.6 Million Investment Fraud
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation announced that Justin Troy Spearman was arrested in North Carolina by the Burke County Sherriff’s Office and charged with grand theft, securities fraud, selling unregistered securities and acting as an unregistered issuer in the sale of securities. The arrest warrant was issued in Orange County. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution is prosecuting the case. More.
Broward County Man Arrested for Scheme to Defraud and Grand Theft More Than $100,000
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Colin L. Ansby, 25, of 225 NW 79th Terr., Margate, for one count each of scheme to defraud over $50,000, grand theft more than $100,000, and grand theft between $20,000 and $100,000. Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute this case. More.
Pinellas County Man Arrested for Exploiting Two Elderly and Disabled Victims
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and the Clearwater Police Department arrested a Pinellas County resident for exploiting two elderly and disabled individuals. In two separate occasions, Fernando Gutierrez, 58, allegedly gained access to victims’ personal papers and funds to illegally transfer money into personal accounts. More.
Two Arrested for More than $100,000 in Medicaid Fraud
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Winter Garden Police Department arrested Anthony Handal, 59, and Sandra Mora, 46, for allegedly defrauding the Medicaid program out of more than $100,000. Handal, a licensed clinical social worker and Mora, a targeted case manager, are both contract employees of MTS Health Services. MTS provides applied behavior analysis and targeted case management services. More.
Assisted Living Facility Owner Arrested for Exploitation of a Disabled Adult
Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit announced the arrest of a Duval County resident for exploitation of a disabled adult. Warrenrina La’Tara Henderson, 42, is the owner of Paradise Retreat Assisted Living Facility and allegedly used the victim’s Social Security funds for personal purposes. More.
Attorney General Pam Bondi touring the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind, an organization that provides rehabilitation programs to people in the Tampa and Winter Haven area who are blind or visually impaired. Sheryl Brown, Executive Director of the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind, joined by Rehabilitation Services Manager Jennifer Brooks, a graduate and board members Michael Ragsdale and Jim Stefan, shared how the organization helps those who recently lost their vision develop skills to be successful on their own in day to day activities.
Attorney General Bondi is congratulating Tina Furlow, Assistant Bureau Chief of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division’s North Florida Bureau, for receiving the Florida Bar’s 2017 Distinguished Public Service Award. The award is presented annually to a dedicated government lawyer who has made significant contributions to the public. Michael Schmid, Chair of the Florida Bar’s Government Lawyer Section, presented Tina with the award.