FLORIDA — The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office have arrested a Licensed Practical Nurse for exploitation of an elderly person.

Amy Latasha Curtis is accused of stealing nearly $2,000 from an elderly person living in a Gainesville nursing home where Curtis worked as an LPN.

“Many seniors rely on Licensed Practical Nurses to take care of their physical needs and act in their best interests,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody in a news release. “So, it seems even more egregious when a health care worker uses this position of trust to harm instead of healing their patient.”

According to the AG's release, the investigation found that Curtis often took the victim’s debit card to purchase breakfast for the patient and as a result Curtis was able to gain access to the victim's financial information and open a joint-checking account funded solely by deposits from the victim’s primary account. “Though a series of illegal transactions, Curtis used the joint account to make personal purchases, including beauty products and a trip to Miami,” states the release.

The investigation was launched after the fraud unit received a tip from the Florida Department of Children and Families' Adult Protective Services.

Curtis now faces one count of exploitation of an elderly person, involving less than $10,000, a third-degree felony.

The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.

The Attorney General’s MFCU will prosecute the case through an agreement with the State Attorney’s Office in the Eighth Judicial Circuit.

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, MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.

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