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Fox 35

Woman arrested for operating assisted living facilities without license

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MARION COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Attorney General Bill McCollum announced on Wednesday that a Marion County woman has been taken into custody on charges she was operating an assisted living facility without a license.

Mary Alexander was arrested early Wednesday morning by law enforcement officers with the Attorney Generals Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The arrest resulted from an investigation by the Attorney Generals Medicaid Fraud Control Units Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (PANE) Team, acting on information received from the Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Council.

Investigators say Alexander, 43, was operating at least two assisted living facilities in Ocala without a license. Reports say Alexander was licensed to care for five residents at one facility, but was caring for a total of 13 residents at as many as three facilities, two without licensure.

In order to legally and properly operate an assisted living facility, there are various administrative and operational requirements which must be met including: licensing procedures, staffing requirements, compliance with county health and local fire authority regulations, and the safe management of medication by trained staff personnel.

The investigation was jointly conducted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Marion County Sheriffs Office, the Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Services, and the Agency for Health Care Administration.

Alexander is charged with one count of operating and/or maintaining an assisted living facility without a license, a third-degree felony. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.