Acute care trial now scheduled in April
The trial of the four remaining defendants in the Acute Care Inc. Medicaid fraud once again has been moved, this time to April 13.
The trial was scheduled for Dec. 11 in the Manatee County Circuit Court, but that was changed shortly before depositions were to begin, according to online court records. At one time, the trial was scheduled to start in June 2008.
Elizabeth Ferguson, Nancy Wood, Heidi Rickert and Cynthia May are all charged with one count each of Medicaid fraud and organized fraud by the state attorney's office. Each defendant faces up to 30 years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine.
Ferguson and Wood are the owners of the Anna Maria medical care facility at the old post office plaza on Gulf Drive in Anna Maria and live in Holmes Beach.
Seven Acute Care staff members were originally arrested in February 2007 after an investigation by the state attorney general’s office. Agents for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement seized records at Acute Care's Anna Maria office in December 2006.
However, Carla Camacho, Andrea Suarez and Stephanie Nichols all entered guilty pleas and received suspended sentences in exchange for agreeing to testify against the remaining defendants.
Prosecutors have alleged the company billed the state for more than $2.7 million in bogus services, particularly in providing care to juveniles.