Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|July 30, 2021
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
Home-Health Aide Arrested for Medicaid Fraud
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with the assistance of the Fort Pierce Police Department, today arrested a St. Lucie County home-health aide for Medicaid provider fraud. According to an MFCU investigation, Roselande Baptiste billed Medicaid for thousands of dollars’ worth of personal support services that Baptiste did not provide.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This was a deliberate scheme to steal funds from the Florida Medicaid program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the diligence of the company for self-reporting this incident, my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators were able to get involved and stop this fraud before more harm was done.”
MFCU received a complaint about Baptiste after the mother of a vulnerable adult could not secure respite care services. Upon further investigation, the mother learned that Baptiste continued to bill for services from April 1, 2020 until Dec. 6, 2020 even after the mother requested to stop the services due to COVID-19.
The investigation revealed that Baptiste worked as an independent contractor for Medicaid provider Light of Life, Inc. to provide services designed to assist caregivers with the daily care of vulnerable adults. Instead, Baptiste created 247 false personal support invoices of more than $20,500 in services that Baptiste never provided. When confronted about the fraudulent billing by employees of Light of Life, witnesses say Baptiste admitted to submitting the fraudulent documents and not having the authority to do so. Light of Life self-reported Baptiste’s wrongdoings to MFCU.
Baptiste faces two charges: one count of Medicaid provider fraud, and one count of scheme to fraud, both second-degree felonies. If convicted, Baptiste faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. The Attorney General’s MFCU will prosecute the case through an agreement with the State Attorney’s Office for the Ninth Judicial Circuit.
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The Florida Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is funded through a grant totaling $26,329,510 for Federal Fiscal Year 2021, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. The Federal Share of these funds is 75% totaling $19,747,136. The State Matching Share of these funds is 25% totaling $6,582,374 and is funded by Florida.
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 $70 million in settlements and judgments.