Attorney General Charlie Crist News Release
February 2, 2005
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Miami-Dade Woman Arrested on Fraud, Identity Theft Charges
TALLAHASSEE - Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced the arrest of a Miami-Dade County woman for allegedly billing Florida's Medicaid program for more than $116,700 in medications she never provided to patients. Natalie Brink, 25, of Miami Beach is accused of using a Tampa pharmacy she purchased to submit the false billings, and has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit organized fraud and one count of identity theft.
An investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that Brink fraudulently used the names and Medicaid numbers of Medicaid recipients in order to bill the program for more than $116,751 in prescription medication ordered on behalf of Medicaid patients. The patients whose names were used to obtain the medications told investigators that they have never received or used the medication involved in the false billings.
"Falsely using Medicaid as a personal drug mill hurts our most needy and our taxpayers," said Crist. "The sole purpose of the Medicaid Program is to provide quality health care for those who must get by on limited means. Strong enforcement action awaits those who would steal from this taxpayer-funded lifeline."
Through an organized scheme to defraud, Brink purchased the Interbay Pharmacy in Tampa, and then used it as a conduit to order expensive pharmaceuticals that were never delivered to Medicaid recipients. Investigators determined that the pharmaceuticals were subsequently sold to drug suppliers.
If convicted of the charges, Brink faces up to 45 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General's Office of the Statewide Prosecution.
A copy of the complaint against Brink can be viewed at: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/BrinkInformation.pdf