Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 327 • Feb. 10, 2017
Attorney General Bondi's Weekly Briefing


My Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, working with federal and local law enforcement agencies, this week, made arrests in connection to millions of dollars in Medicaid fraud. A joint investigation into Angels Creative Children Therapy revealed the owner and office manager received payment for therapy services for disabled children that the defendants never provided. Not only did the health care workers allegedly draw more than $4 million illegally from the Medicaid program, they also failed to provide vital therapy to children in their care.

Fraudulent billing is one of the most common forms of Medicaid fraud, and we will not allow unscrupulous individuals to defraud the Medicaid program. Using disabled children to fraudulently bill Medicaid is despicable, but thanks to the collaborative efforts of my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and our local and federal partners, this scheme has been stopped and those responsible will be held accountable. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 30 years in prison.

My MFCU continues to work tirelessly investigating and prosecuting health care providers in Florida who intentionally defraud our Medicaid program. Since I took office, my MFCU has obtained more than $500 million in settlements and judgments. In addition to combating Medicaid fraud, which essentially steals from Florida’s taxpayers, the unit investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect and exploitation in Medicaid-funded facilities.

Working with our great local, state and federal partners, we will continue to investigate allegations of Medicaid fraud and hold those exploiting our health care programs accountable.

In the News
Feds and state stop debt relief operation in Florida, Consumer Affairs

2 accused of billing Medicaid $4M for services not provided, Orlando Sentinel

Two arrested for bilking Medicaid of $4.6 mil, Orlando Advocate

Protecting Floridians
Deceptive Travel Club Sales Tactics Thwarted

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced an agreement that permanently shuts down a travel company operation and stops its alleged deceptive sales tactics. Map Destinations, LLC and its owners, operators and managers, 1st Choice Sales and Marketing, Inc., Peggy Bronaugh-Lehman, Kevin V. Lehman and Charles B. McIntyre III reached an agreement with the Attorney General’s Office resolving allegations that the defendants misled consumers who purchased the company’s travel club memberships. Additionally, Attorney General Bondi reached a separate agreement with Thomas Bradley Middleton, who solicited consumers to listen to Map Destinations’ sales pitch. Map Destinations is a travel company operating out of St. Augustine.
More.

Attorney General Bondi Shuts Down Scam Debt Relief Operations

Attorney General Pam Bondi announced federal court approval of proposed consent judgments against several Florida-based debt relief service providers. The consent judgments, filed jointly in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida by the Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission, resolve allegations that the defendant debt relief companies targeted individuals deeply in debt with promises of lower credit card payments and substantial savings and collected upfront fees for the promised services, but never delivered on those services or provided refunds. As a result, consumers fell even deeper into debt.
More.


Events
On Tuesday, Attorney General Pam Bondi joined Governor Rick Scott and fellow Cabinet members, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, for a meeting of the Florida Cabinet in Tallahassee.

Attorney General Bondi joins Governor Rick Scott in awarding the Medal of Heroism to three law enforcement officers for their courageous actions responding to a house fire. Attorney General Bondi thanks Brevard County Sheriff Deputies Robert Bennett, Jesse Doucette and Benjamin Fischer for their service protecting Floridians.


Attorney General Bondi introducing TJ, at the Florida Cabinet meeting. For more information on TJ and other rescue animals in the Tallahassee area, visit TalGov.com/Animals.





Attorney General Bondi meeting with Graci and Dennis McGillicuddy who are on the Leadership and Vision Executive Team for All Star Children’s Foundation. All Star Children’s Foundation works to find abused children loving homes.


Attorney General Bondi joining Agriculture Commissioner Putnam, Chairman of the Florida State Fair Doyle Carlton and first responders to flip the switch, turning on the power to the Florida State Fair.





Attorney General Bondi with Agriculture Commissioner Putnam recognizing Florida’s agriculture community at the Fresh From Florida Breakfast.


























Attorney General Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Putnam visiting with members of Future Farmers of America and members of the 4-H group.






Attorney General Bondi visiting with Nicholas Piller and his mother, Carol Piller, at the Fresh From Florida Breakfast.

























Attorney General Bondi speaking to hundreds of members of Florida’s agricultural and business communities at the Governor’s Day Luncheon in Tampa.




Derrick Brooks receiving the Tampa Metro Civitan 2016 Outstanding Citizen of the Year award at the Governor’s Day Luncheon. Attorney General Bondi thanks Brooks for his continued dedication to service Florida’s youth.



Attorney General Bondi with Chief Financial Officer Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Putnam kicking off the first day of the Florida State Fair.






CFO Atwater, thank you for your friendship and service these past six years—it has been a true joy working with you and you will be missed. Congratulations and good luck in your future endeavors at Florida Atlantic University.