|August 4, 2015
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Leon County Sheriff’s Office today arrested a Tallahassee woman for allegedly defrauding the Florida Medicaid program. Darelene Johnson, 51, the consumer representative for a disabled adult, allegedly submitted more than $10,000 in claims for unauthorized services.
According to the investigation following a complaint from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Johnson submitted claims to the APD Community Direct Care Plus Program for services provided by Tamira Jones. CDC+ is a long-term care program alternative to the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid Waiver. Jones was arrested in 2013 for possession of narcotics with intent to distribute, disqualifying her from providing services. Johnson spoke on Jones’s behalf at a first appearance hearing on the morning after Jones’s arrest and did not disclose this information to APD, as required. Johnson allegedly continued to bill APD for services provided by Jones.
Johnson is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a second degree felony. If convicted, Johnson faces up to 15 years in prison, more than $60,000 in fines and restitution. Attorney General Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with the assistance of the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, investigated the case. The State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit will prosecute the case.
Attorney General Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit 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 March 2015, Attorney General Bondi's MFCU has obtained more than $474 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.