|August 24, 2006
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE - Attorney General Charlie Crist announced that a Pinellas County nurse was arrested today on charges of Medicaid fraud and identity theft. Carla Ann Mejia formerly worked at a Medicaid-enrolled provider of pediatric home health care services. By falsifying employee schedules, Mejia defrauded the Medicaid program out of more than $150,000.
Mejia, 39, was the branch office manager of the St. Petersburg nursing office owned and operated by PSA Healthcare, Inc. She created false work schedules for other employees, causing Medicaid to be billed for more than $150,000 for services that had not been provided. The false schedules also caused fraudulent paychecks to be issued in the names of the employees whose schedules had been falsified. Mejia, a Hillsborough County resident, intercepted those paychecks, forged the employees’ signatures and deposited more than $14,000 into her own bank account. PSA Healthcare discovered Mejia’s scheme and immediately alerted Crist’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
"Medicaid exists to help people pay for much-needed medical care," said Crist. "This woman not only stole people’s names, she deprived others of their ability to get necessary medical attention."
Once PSA Healthcare discovered the discrepancies, it audited its records and reported its findings to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which independently verified the facts. The company fired Mejia and repaid the entire sum that was improperly billed to the taxpayer-supported Medicaid program.
Mejia is charged with one count of organized fraud, a first-degree felony, and four counts of criminal use of personal identification information, a third-degree felony. She will be prosecuted by Crist’s Office of Statewide Prosecution. If convicted on all charges, she faces up to 50 years in prison and fines of $30,000.
A copy of Mejia’s arrest affidavit is available at: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/KGRG-6SYNQK/$file/Mejia_Affidavit.pdf