Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
October 27, 2017
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Georgia Resident Arrested for Exploiting Elderly Pensacola Resident
Tallahassee, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office announced today’s arrest of a Georgia man for exploiting an elderly and disabled resident in an assisted living facility in Pensacola. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit received a tip regarding this illegal activity from the Florida Department of Children and Families hotline.
According to the MFCU investigation, Credell Michael Wingate, 44, had power of attorney for the resident and spent more than $31,000 of the victim’s private funds, violating the statutory fiduciary duty requirements of a POA.
Wingate is charged with a one count of exploitation, a second degree felony. If convicted, Wingate faces up to 15 years in prison, and up to $10,000 in fines.
This case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office through an agreement with the State Attorney’s Office for the First Judicial Circuit, William “Bill” Eddins.
The Florida Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program. Additionally, the MFCU 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 $750 million in settlements and judgments. In 2017, the MFCU was awarded the Inspector General's Award for Excellence in Fighting Fraud, Waste and Abuse. This award is presented annually to the nation’s top MFCU by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.