Woman accused of $400K in Medicaid fraud

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville woman is accused of stealing more than $400,000 from Florida's Aged and Disabled Adult Waiver Program, Attorney General Pam Bondi said Thursday in announcing her arrest.

Edna Watkins, 34, is charged with two counts of Medicaid provider fraud and one count of grand theft. She is accused of billing Medicaid for services that were never rendered and billing for services to recipients who were ineligible for Medicaid. Some of the people to whom she claimed to have provided services were in jail at the time the services were supposedly rendered, investigators said.

"We will not allow people to abuse the Medicaid program by falsifying applications to become a provider and then essentially stealing from the program," Bondi said in a news release.

Watkins is the owner of Homecare Unlimited, LLC. She is accused of defrauding Medicaid between January 2008 and June 2011. She is also accused of falsifying her application to become a Medicaid provider by concealing prior felony convictions and using a false Social Security number.

If convicted, Watkins could face up to 90 years in prison and $30,000 in fines. She is already serving time in prison for prescription drug trafficking charges.