Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|October 23, 2019
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
Navarre Woman Arrested for Exploiting Senior
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, in conjunction with the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, today arrested a Navarre woman for exploitation and misuse of a power of attorney of an elderly person. Following an investigation by Attorney General Moody’s MFCU, the FWBPD brought Sabrina Shelton, a former employee at a skilled nursing center, into custody for allegedly exploiting the power of attorney of a resident at the facility where Shelton worked.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This case disgusts me—that a caregiver would exploit a senior entrusted to their care. I hope this arrest sends a strong message to anyone contemplating taking advantage of vulnerable Floridians, that I have investigators and attorneys laser-focused on stopping senior fraud and abuse, and you will not escape justice.”
After the Florida Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Services forwarded an Elder Abuse Hotline complaint regarding Shelton to the MFCU, the MFCU launched an investigation into the allegations for criminal activity. Investigators discovered that while Shelton was an assistant administrator at a skilled nursing facility, Shelton gained access to a resident’s personal funds using a power of attorney. Shelton used more than $10,000 of the victim’s money on herself, family members and acquaintances.
Shelton faces one count of exploitation of an elderly person, a second-degree felony, and one count of misuse of a power of attorney held by facility staff, a third-degree felony. If convicted, Shelton faces a combined 20 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
The Attorney General’s Office, through an agreement with the State Attorney’s Office of the First Judicial Circuit, will prosecute the case.
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The Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes providers that intentionally defraud the state’s Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida’s taxpayers. From January 2019 to the present, Attorney General Moody’s MFCU has obtained more than $40 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.