Office of Statewide Prosecution

Statewide Grand Jury Report

FINAL REPORT
June 19, 1997
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA -- CASE NUMBER 86,726
(This document has been re-formatted for the Internet)

INTRODUCTION

The Thirteenth Statewide Grand Jury was impaneled on January 16, 1996, and was seated in the Second Judicial Circuit: Leon County. The panel was drawn from around the State. The Grand Jury met on sixteen occasions to investigate allegations of multi-circuit, organized criminal activity. The Grand Jury's original term expired after twelve months, but was extended to July 16, 1997. The Grand Jury is adjourning early, subject to recall, if necessary. The purpose of this report is to record for posterity the work of this Grand Jury, with the hope that its collective voice will be heard and that the citizens of this State will benefit from its efforts.

INVESTIGATIONS

The Grand Jury was called to investigate cases involving fraud against the government, with an emphasis on Medicaid fraud. We issued 29 indictments charging 78 defendants with a total of 2,407 crimes. The indictments allege the following criminal offenses: Medicaid provider fraud; organized fraud; communications fraud; racketeering; grand theft; sales tax theft; conspiracy to commit racketeering; and money laundering. During our term, the Statewide Prosecutor has worked with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, FDLE, and the Program Integrity Unit of the Agency for Health Care Administration in the investigation of many additional Medicaid fraud cases. The Statewide Prosecutor has filed criminal charges against 70 criminal defendants by direct information. Taken together, the criminal defendants are responsible for thefts of $25-30 million dollars from the Medicaid Program. The attached chart sets forth the number and nature of the charges, as well as dispositions achieved to date. (The names of individuals who have not yet been arrested, or who received a No True Bill, do not appear on the chart.) The Grand Jury issued three NO TRUE BILLS in the following cases: OSWP Numbers: 94-273-NFB, 95-278-NFB, and 96-292-NFB. The following cases were closed by law enforcement before we were asked to render a decision: OSWP Case Numbers: 96-188-WFB and 97-208-WFB. The following cases did not reach conclusion and are still under investigation by law enforcement: OSWP Case Numbers: 94-191-NFB; 95-301-NJB; 96-338-CFB; 96-561-WFB.

REPORTS AND PRESENTMENTS

The Grand Jury issued four reports during its term: (1) Durable Medical Equipment; (2) Clinics; (3) Adult Living Facilities; and (4) Home Health Care. The Grand Jury issued one Presentment. We have been advised that the Agency for Health Care Administration has implemented many of our recommendations for reform in the Medicaid Program. We have been advised that the estimated savings in the program is almost $200 million dollars over a two year period. A report from the Agency is attached in support of these conclusions. We have also been advised that the Florida Legislature adopted two of our suggestions: (1) to require fingerprinting of Medicaid providers to prevent convicted criminals from entering the program; and (2) to increase the penalty for lying on a Medicaid provider application. We hope the Legislature will consider the remainder of our recommendations.

CONCLUSIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

While the work which we were asked to perform has been difficult, the issues complex, and the schedule exhausting at times, we have enjoyed our service and are proud of our contributions to the State of Florida. We urge the respective agencies to continue this important work. Fraud against the government affects every citizen of this State and must be diligently pursued by law enforcement. We wish to thank the following individuals and their respective offices for assisting us in the performance of our responsibilities: The Honorable Lawton Chiles, Governor Attorney General Bob Butterworth The Honorable Philip J. Padovano The Honorable N. Sanders Sauls, Presiding Judge The Honorable F. E. Steinmeyer, III The Honorable Dave Lang, Clerk of the Circuit Court The Honorable Eddie Boone, Leon County Sheriff, retired The Honorable Larry Campbell, Leon County Sheriff Tim Moore, Commissioner, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tom Long, Leon County Court Administrator

Respectfully submitted to the Honorable F. E. Steinmeyer, III, Presiding Judge, this ______ day of June, 1997.

________________________________
ALVAND R. WILLIAMS
Vice-Foreperson
Thirteenth Statewide Grand Jury

_________________________________
CATHERINE J. LOBB
Recording Secretary
Thirteenth Statewide Grand Jury

I, MELANIE ANN HINES, Legal Adviser, Thirteenth Statewide Grand Jury for the State of Florida, hereby certify that I, as authorized and required by law, have advised the Grand Jury which returned this Final Report this __________ day of June, 1997.

__________________________________
MELANIE ANN HINES
Statewide Prosecutor
Statewide Grand Jury Legal Adviser

THE FOREGOING Final Report was returned before me in open court, this ________day of June, 1997.

__________________________________
F. E. STEINMEYER, III
Presiding Judge
Thirteenth Statewide Grand Jury


Appendices

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(The spreadsheet contains: Thirteenth Statewide Grand Jury Final Report, Indictments Issued; Office of Statewide Prosecution - Grand Jury Cases Which Have Pled or Achieved Disposition; Summary of Informations Filed During Term of the Thirteenth Statewide Grand Jury; Office of Statewide Prosecution Cases Filed by Information Where Defendant Has Pled or Final Disposition Has Been Achieved.)

If you do not have Excel software and would like a hard copy of the spreadsheet, please contact the Office of Statewide Prosecution at 850-487-2807.