|April 5, 2011
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Today, Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that a Jefferson County resident is in custody after allegedly defrauding the state of Florida out of more than $93,000. At the conclusion of the Florida Attorney General’s Office’s ten-month investigation, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Peggy Johnson-Watkins, 50, of Monticello.
“Committing Medicaid fraud is stealing from taxpayers, and this illegal activity will not be tolerated,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit began investigating Johnson-Watkins after receiving information from the state of Georgia that she allegedly billed the Florida Medicaid program for residents in her Georgia-licensed facility. It is alleged that Johnson-Watkins defrauded the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $83,000. Other allegations include: administering medications via injection without the appropriate license; failing to reside in her Florida adult family care home as required by state law; and enrolling Georgia residents in a Florida public assistance program, which cost the state more than $10,000.
Johnson-Watkins is charged with one count of Medicaid provider fraud, one count of communications fraud, one count of public assistance fraud, and one count of practicing a health care profession without a license, all third-degree felonies. If convicted on all charges, she could receive a maximum of twenty years in prison and a $20,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit of Florida.