Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release


July 27, 2011
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150

Attorney General Bondi’s Office Arrests Assisted Living Facility Owner for Medicaid Fraud

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that a Vero Beach woman is in custody after being charged with defrauding the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $24,000. Karen Rita Wells, owner and operator of Elders in Touch, Inc., was arrested for fraudulently billing the Florida Medicaid program by claiming that six Medicaid recipients were living at the assisted living facility when they actually were in an independent living environment co-located within the facility.

“When a person commits Medicaid fraud, they are stealing from Florida’s taxpayers,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “One cent unlawfully taken from hardworking citizens is one cent too much, and we will not tolerate this illegal activity.”

Wells surrendered today to law enforcement officers with the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The arrest resulted from an investigation initiated by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit after receiving information from the Agency for Health Care Administration. Wells is being held at the Indian River County jail. She is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud and one count of grand theft, both second-degree felonies. If convicted, she faces up to thirty years in prison and a $20,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the 19th Judicial Circuit.