|June 15, 2012
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that Zonia Cooper, an Alachua County woman, has been arrested following an investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of allegations that the former group home manager exploited eleven disabled adults. Cooper, 44, committed the alleged acts of exploitation during her employment at an Arc of Alachua Group Home.
“The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is dedicated to protecting elderly and disabled adults in health care facilities throughout Florida, and we will not allow these individuals to be exploited or abused,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
According to the investigation, Cooper misappropriated more than $1,300 from eleven disabled adults under her supervision. Cooper has been charged with eleven counts of exploitation of a disabled adult and one count of scheme to defraud, all third degree felonies. If convicted of all charges, Cooper faces up to 60 years in prison and a $60,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by William P. Cervone, State Attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit.
In addition to investigating Medicaid fraud, the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates abuse, neglect and exploitation of elderly or disabled persons in health care facilities. The Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (PANE) Team plays a key role in helping to ensure that efficient and effective health care is being provided.