|November 17, 2010
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Bradenton woman has been taken into custody on charges of exploiting a disabled adult. Jo Lynne Wigginton was arrested last night by law enforcement officers with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
The arrest resulted from an investigation by the Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (PANE) Team with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, acting on information received from the Department of Children and Families, Adult Protective Services. Investigators determined that Wigginton, 56, exploited a nursing home resident by withdrawing thousands of dollars from the elderly adult’s bank account. Wigginton, who is not related to the patient, had access to the patient’s account to pay health related bills.
Wigginton has been charged with one count of exploitation of an elderly or disabled adult, a third-degree felony. If convicted, she could receive up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the 12thJudicial Circuit.
The PANE Team plays a key role in detecting abuse and neglect of elderly and disabled adults, helping to ensure that efficient and effective health care is being provided.