Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


October 2, 2014
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Polk County Woman Arrested for Abuse of a Disabled Adult

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office today arrested Bonnie L. Coleman, a house manager at a Medicaid-funded group home in Winter Haven, for abusing a disabled adult.

According to a joint investigation by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Coleman used a "hit stick" to intimidate and discipline the disabled residents and was allegedly seen striking a resident on his hand. A DCF investigator found a two-foot bamboo stick under a cushion in the couch of the facility. The facility owner terminated the employment of Coleman.

Coleman is facing one count of abuse of a disabled adult, up to five years in prison, and a fine of up to $5,000. This case will be prosecuted by the Polk County State Attorney’s Office.

The Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit 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 Jan. 2011 to Aug. 2014, Attorney General Bondi's MFCU has obtained more than $460 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.