|December 28, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced the arrest of a former Jackson County Sunland Center employee for alleged physical abuse of a disabled patient. Following an investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ashley Nicole Griffin, age 21, on charges related to the alleged abuse.
The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigation was prompted by a complaint from the Florida Department of Children and Families about the alleged abuse of a patient at Sunland’s intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled. According to the investigation, staff member Griffin struck a disabled patient in the face and caused bleeding and bruising.
Griffin is charged with one count of abuse of a disabled adult, a third degree felony, and faces up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines if convicted. The Florida Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case through an agreement with the State Attorney’s Office for the 14th Judicial Circuit.
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.