|June 24, 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 Bay County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Panama City mental health counselors for allegedly defrauding the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $360,000.
The investigation revealed that Laurie Lynne Kidd, 54, who has a doctorate in psychology, hired Courtney Ann Hill, 27, to provide individual and group therapy to assisted living facilities. Hill is an unlicensed and unqualified employee and allegedly submitted false reports claiming that Hill provided therapy to the residents, when, in fact the defendant did not. Kidd billed Medicaid for the services never rendered as if Kidd herself performed the services. Kidd allegedly submitted more than $400,000 in fraudulent claims and received more than $360,000 from the Florida Medicaid program due to the fraudulent claims. Hill is allegedly responsible for $99,000 of Kidd’s fraudulent claims.
Kidd is charged with two counts of Medicaid provider fraud for $50,000 or more, first-degree felonies. If convicted, Kidd faces up to 60 years in prison and more than $2 million in fines and restitution. Hill is charged with one count of Medicaid provider fraud, a third-degree felony. If convicted, Hill faces up to five years in prison and more than $575,000 in fines and restitution. The State Attorney’s Office for the 14th Judicial Circuit is prosecuting 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 $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.