Three Arrested at Autism Center for Abusing Vulnerable Adults

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrested three former employees of Threshold Center for Autism. Shenika Abraham, Kenneth Hampton, Jr., and Michael Meeks allegedly abused three residents of the Winter Park residential home. According to the investigation, a former employee of Threshold Center for Autism recorded instances of the alleged abuse on his smart phone. The video and supporting witness statements implicated Abraham, Hampton, and Meeks in three separate incidents of abusing disabled adult residents under their care. Threshold Center for Autism terminated the three employees.

Each defendant faces charges of abusing a vulnerable adult, a third degree felony. If convicted, the defendants face up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. The cases will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the 9th Judicial Circuit.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates and prosecutes fraud involving providers that intentionally defraud the state’s Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida’s taxpayers. From January 2011 to August 2014, Attorney General Bondi’s MFCU has obtained more than $460 million in settlements and judgments. Additionally, the MFCU investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect, and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program.

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