A Palm Beach County woman was arrested Thursday and charged with grand theft and Medicaid fraud of more than $28,000, the Florida Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.
Edna Iris Torres, 62, of West Palm Beach, was arrested on a felony warrant by the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and taken into custody at the Palm Beach County jail.
The fraud unit investigates and prosecutes fraud involving medical providers that intentionally abuse the state’s Medicaid program.
These schemes often involve doctors and other health care providers billing for services never performed or overbilling for services, according to the AG’s Office.
“We will not allow individuals to defraud Florida’s Medicaid program and essentially steal taxpayer dollars,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Torres’ bond on the second-degree felony charges combined was set at $8,000, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office booking records.
She faces up to 30 years in prison and more than $20,000 in fines if convicted, the AG’s Office said.
The state agency initiated an investigation into Blessed Friends Transportation Services Inc., a Medicaid home and community-based services provider, after receiving information from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities.
Torres is the owner of Blessed Friends, according to Florida’s division of corporations.
The AG’s Office said its investigation showed that Torres allegedly submitted fraudulent timesheets claiming for services she had not rendered to Medicaid recipients. From May 2007 through February 2011, the Agency for Health Care Administration, which runs Medicaid, paid more than $28,000 in fraudulent claims.