|January 5, 2017
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today announced the arrest of a Gadsden County resident for Medicaid provider fraud. Aretha Derrico, 44, is the owner of a home community based services company called Heavenly Choices. A complaint to the Attorney General’s fraud hotline initiated a Medicaid fraud investigation against Derrico for allegedly stealing more than $57,000 from the Florida Medicaid Program. According to the investigation, Derrico billed for services not provided and for services not authorized for reimbursement.
Derrico faces one count of Medicaid fraud for $50,000 or more, a first-degree felony, and one count of Medicaid fraud for $10,000 or less, a third-degree felony. If convicted, Derrico faces up to 35 years in prison and more than $340,000 in fines and restitution. Attorney General Bondi’s Office will prosecute the case through an agreement with the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit.
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 Jan. 2011 to the present, Attorney General Bondi's MFCU has obtained more than $500 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.