|June 23, 2016
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today announced the conviction of a Pensacola woman for organized fraud. In early 2014, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated and arrested Gloria Hardaway, 25, for Medicaid provider fraud and grand theft allegedly committed while working for Home Instead Senior Care.
Prior to Hardaway’s arrest, Community Outreach Inc. hired her as an employee. In the application packet to Community Outreach, Hardaway presented employment background documents and personal references created with various persons’ information and false signatures and did not include Home Instead as a former employer.
In August 2014, Hardaway pleaded to grand theft with a sentencing that included probation with the special condition of not working in the health care field. Under Florida law and in a notarized document signed by Hardaway, Hardaway had to disclose the arrest to the current employer, Community Outreach. Hardaway continued working at Community Outreach until MFCU investigators discovered the employment and informed Community Outreach of Hardaway’s disqualified status. The company terminated Hardaway immediately.
An Escambia County jury found Hardaway guilty of one count of organized fraud, a third-degree felony. The Attorney General’s Office, acting through a special designation by State Attorney William “Bill” Eddins for the First Judicial Circuit, prosecuted this case. Hardaway is set for sentencing before the Honorable Edward P Nickinson, III, Judge for the First Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, on July 29, 2016 and faces incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines.
The Florida Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes providers that intentionally defraud the state's Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida's taxpayers. From Jan. 2011 to the present, Attorney General Bondi's MFCU has obtained more than $500 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.