|December 11, 2015
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with the assistance of the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office, Thursday arrested a Florida State Hospital employee for allegedly abusing an elderly individual.
According to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s investigation, Stephanie Rena Sharpe, 26, bit a disabled patient on the back while employed at the state’s psychiatric hospital in Chattahoochee.
Sharpe faces one count of abuse of a disabled adult, a third-degree felony. If convicted, Sharpe faces up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. The State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit will prosecute the case.
Attorney General Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program. Additionally, the MFCU 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 October 2015, Attorney General Bondi's MFCU has obtained more than $500 million in settlements and judgments.