|December 19, 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 Hillsborough County woman for defrauding the Medicaid program out of at least $5,000. While working for My Harvest, a Medicaid provider of companion services, Geraldine Rivera, 32, allegedly caused her employer to bill for services never provided. According to the MFCU investigation, Rivera, continued to report providing companion services to a disabled Medicaid recipient long after Rivera stopped servicing the recipient. My Harvest no longer employs Rivera.
Rivera faces one count of Medicaid provider fraud and one count of scheme to defraud, both third-degree felonies. If convicted, Rivera faces up to 10 years in prison and more than $15,000 in fines and restitution. Attorney General Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.
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 $750 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program. In 2017, the MFCU was awarded the Inspector General’s Award for Excellence in Fighting Fraud, Waste and Abuse. This award is presented annually to the nation’s top MFCU by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.