Attorney General Moody Announces Power of Attorney Arrested for Exploitation of Elderly Woman
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit today announced the arrest of a power of attorney for financially exploiting an elderly Okaloosa resident. Cheri Lynn Meyer is accused of taking more than $43,600 from the victim despite being responsible for the resident’s finances to be used for health care.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This individual, who was supposed to look after a senior as a power of attorney, depleted tens of thousands of dollars from an elderly resident’s bank account. I’m thankful that our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators were alerted to this situation and put a stop to it.”
According to the investigation, Meyer, while in a position of trust with a 79-year-old victim suffering from aging infirmities, systematically withdrew funds directly from the victim’s account in the form of ATM transactions and checks between October 2021 to September 2022. Witness accounts, facility records and bank records show the funds deposited into Meyer’s account did not benefit the victim while residing at a care facility.
Over the course of being the victim’s power of attorney, Meyer submitted only one $500 payment that successfully cleared the victim’s bank. Meyer gave numerous reasons for not paying for the victim's medical services and proved to be uncooperative when pressed to make the payments and how to properly manage the victim’s financials.
Meyer faces one count of exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult less than $50,000, a second-degree felony. Attorney General Moody’s MFCU will prosecute the case through an agreement with the State Attorney’s Office for the First Judicial Circuit.
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The Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes providers that intentionally defraud the state’s Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida’s taxpayers. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.
The Florida MFCU is funded through a grant totaling $29,707,695 for Federal Fiscal Year 2024, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General. The Federal Share of these funds is 75% totaling $22,280,772. The State Matching Share of these funds is 25% totaling $7,426,923 and is funded by Florida.