Office of Attorney General of Florida

11/27/2019 | Press release | Archived content

Orange County Women Arrested for Aggravated Abuse of Mentally Disabled Adult

Orange County Women Arrested for Aggravated Abuse of Mentally Disabled Adult

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-Attorney General Ashley Moody today announced the arrest of an individual who allegedly abused a mentally disabled adult. Following an investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Orange County Sheriff's Office today arrested Juliet Haimes on one count of aggravated abuse of a mentally disabled person. The investigation found that Haimes, a former employee at the LaMirada group home in Winter Springs, maliciously punished a mentally disabled adult under Haimes' care.

A complaint to the MFCU from a co-worker of Haimes initiated the investigation. The coworker observed Haimes pin a disabled resident to the ground and punch him repeatedly in the back. The witness also alleges that Haimes locked the disabled resident's arms behind his back and forced his head into a towel, obstructing his ability to breathe. Investigators received photographs taken by the coworker that corroborate the abuse and bruising caused by the abuse. Florida Mentor, the company that operates the LaMirada group home, has fired Haimes.

The OCSO arrested Haimes on one count of aggravated abuse of a mentally disabled person, a second-degree felony. If convicted, Haimes faces up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The Seminole County State Attorney's Office will prosecute the case.

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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. From Jan. 2019 to the present, Attorney General Moody's MFCU has obtained more than $40 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.