|February 2, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Ocoee Police Department today arrested an Orange County resident for exploitation of a Florida senior citizen. An investigation by the MFCU, and the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General, led to the arrest of Monica Abernathy, 59.
According to the investigation, Abernathy, daughter of the victim, allegedly received more than $5,000 into her bank account to pay for her mother’s patient care. The money transferred consisted of the victims’ Social Security wages. A review of Abernanthy’s bank records show purchases used with the transferred money did not benefit the victim.
Abernathy is charged with one count of exploitation, a third degree felony. If convicted, Abernathy faces up to five years in prison, and up to $5,000 in fines. The State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit will prosecute the case.
Attorney General Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program. Additionally, the MFCU investigates and prosecutes fraud involving providers that intentionally defraud the state's Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida's taxpayers. From January 2011 to now, Attorney General Bondi's MFCU has obtained more than $500 million in settlements and judgments.