|September 27, 2012
Media Contact: Molly McFarland
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –The Attorney General’s Office and the Miami-Dade Police Department arrested the final member of a South Florida Medicaid fraud ring charged with fraud totaling more than $1.7 million. Alina De La Paz, 52, a Miami speech language pathologist, was arrested today and charged with one count of Medicaid fraud and two counts of grand theft, all first-degree felonies, and one count of grand theft, a third-degree felony. If convicted, she faces up to $5 million in fines and 95 years in prison. The Florida Department of Health assisted in the investigation, and the case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
“Today’s arrest is the twelfth Medicaid fraud arrest at the Center for Bilingual Speech and Language Disorders, Inc. We will protect Florida’s taxpayers by holding Medicaid providers accountable for abiding by state laws and regulations,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit discovered that De La Paz, the owner of the Center for Bilingual Speech and Language Disorders, Inc. violated the laws by conspiring with employees to allow speech language assistants to provide unsupervised speech therapy to Medicaid recipients, who were mostly children. Over a five-year period, the Agency for Health Care Administration paid CBSLD more than $1.7 million for these fraudulent claims.
The other defendants who have been arrested in this Medicaid fraud ring are: Mayra Romero, Jeanette Torrella, Juliane Sardina, Samara Glyn, Elaine Camps, Patricia McCown, Ivis Placencia, Miriam Gonzalez, Miyuki Hasegawa, Sarahis Rios, and Gladys Pino.