TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A Gainesville nurse is facing charges after she was accused of stealing nearly $2,000 from a senior in a nursing home, according to Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Amy Latasha Curtis is accused of taking advantage of an elderly person who resided as a patient in the Gainesville nursing home where Curtis worked as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
She was arrested by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office on a charge of exploitation of an elderly person.
“Many seniors rely on Licensed Practical Nurses to take care of their physical needs and act in their best interests. So, it seems even more egregious when a health care worker uses this position of trust to harm instead of healing their patient,” Moody said in a news release. “I’m glad my Medicaid fraud investigators were able to track down and end the exploitation at the center of this case, before more harm was done.”
According to the investigation, Curtis often took the victim’s debit card to purchase breakfast for the patient. Eventually, she used ill-obtained financial information from the victim to open a joint checking account funded solely by deposits from the victim’s primary account. Through a series of illegal transactions, Curtis used the joint account to make personal purchases, including beauty products and a trip to Miami, investigators said.
MFCU investigators received information regarding the alleged exploitation from the Florida Department of Children and Families’ Adult Protective Services Program and then launched an inquiry into the alleged illegal activity.
As a result of the investigation, Curtis faces one count of exploitation of an elderly person, 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.