Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


March 14, 2013
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Investigations Result in Three Arrests

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—In ongoing efforts to protect Florida’s Medicaid program and those who rely upon it, Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has concluded three investigations this week, resulting in three arrests. Each case illustrates an important and distinct aspect of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s jurisdiction. One individual is charged with abusing a disabled adult in a state-run facility; one individual is charged with Medicaid provider fraud; and one individual is charged with operating an assisted living facility without a license.

“Under state law, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit exercises its special authority to protect the Floridians who rely upon the Medicaid program and the taxpayers’ money that funds the program,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Today, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Shanta L. Brown and charged her with abuse of a disabled adult. An investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit revealed that Brown physically assaulted a disabled adult while employed at Sunland-Marianna state facility. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office under the authority of Glenn Hess, State Attorney for the Fourteenth Judicial Circuit.

On Wednesday, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Levy County Sheriff’s Office arrested Donna Michelle Smith, a Levy County resident, and charged her with Medicaid fraud. Smith was a service provider enrolled through the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities to provide personal care assistance, companion care and respite services to Medicaid recipients. After receiving a citizen complaint, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigated Smith for falsely reporting hours worked and receiving payments from the Medicaid program for those hours. She was allegedly responsible for billing nearly $5,000 for claims submitted to Medicaid, which included falsified hours where an APD patient was hospitalized and unable to receive care from Smith. She is charged with one count of third degree Medicaid Fraud. If convicted Smith faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office under the authority of William P. Cervone, State Attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

On Tuesday, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Citrus County Sheriff's Office arrested Rebecca Bilby, a Citrus County resident, for operating an assisted living facility without a license. According to the investigation, Bilby used her corporation, Tender Hearts Living, Inc., to bill residents for more than $55,000 worth of services in spite of the fact she was operating an assisted living facility without the state-required licensure. She has been charged with one count of operating and/or maintaining an assisted living facility without a license, a third-degree felony. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The case will be prosecuted by Brad King, State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit.