|March 29, 2013
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, along with the West Palm Beach Police Department, has arrested a 75-year-old Palm Beach County speech therapist for allegedly defrauding the Medicaid program out of $500,000. Irene Terrero, a Medicaid therapist provider, allegedly employed speech therapists, who were not properly licensed pursuant to state law, to work at the Ismaelillo Learning Centers I and II. According to the investigation, she then billed the Medicaid program for speech therapy provided to children by these unlicensed individuals. She is charged with Medicaid Fraud and Grand Theft, both first degree felonies. If convicted of all charges, Terrero faces up to $20,000 in fines, 60 years in prison and restitution. The case is being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution. Bond was set at $100,000, at the time of arrest.
“Allowing unlicensed individuals to provide speech therapy to children is unlawful, and we will not allow the Medicaid program to subsidize this illegal activity or any other,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes fraud involving providers that intentionally defraud the state’s Medicaid program. In addition, the unit investigates the abuse, neglect and exploitation of elderly, ill and disabled residents of long-term care facilities.