|January 29, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force arrested a fugitive wanted for defrauding the Florida Medicaid program this week in Texas. The arrest comes months after an investigation by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit led to a warrant for Heather J. Ovalles’ arrest. Ovalles, 44, fled the state before Florida officials could take her into custody.
According to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigation, Ovalles, a former employee of DS Connections, Inc., knowingly certified documents and claimed units that caused more than $170,000 in fraudulent billings. DS Connections is a targeted case management company headquartered in Winter Park, with offices in Clermont and Tallahassee.
Ovalles is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud more than $50,000, a first degree felony. If convicted, Ovalles faces up to 30 years in prison and more than $900,000 in fines and restitution. The State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida will prosecute the case. Attorney General Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s investigation is ongoing.
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