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Former DCF Employee Arrested in Welfare Scam

8/26/2011

Release from the office of
Katherine Fernandez Rundle, State Attorney
Eleventh Judicial Circuit, In and For Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announces that as a result of a 2 year joint investigation undertaken by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office and Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater’s Division of Public Assistance Fraud, former Department of Children and Families (DCF) employee Meera Khan has been arrested and charged with a lengthy list of crimes including: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO); Conspiracy to Commit RICO; Public Assistance Fraud Trafficking; Official Misconduct; Unlawful Compensation; Criminal Use of Personal Identification; Grand Theft and Petit Theft.

Meera Khan was employed with DCF as an eligibility caseworker/processor in Miami for almost 9 years until she resigned her position.  During that time, she created benefits cases using the identities and personal information of numerous individuals with whom she had been acquainted without their permission, which allowed her to use foods stamps for her personal benefit.  Additionally, she would work with some unscrupulous businesses to convert food stamps into cash which she and the businesses would pocket.  Additionally, Meera Khan would collect “insurance premiums”, “processing fees”, “application fees”, “renewal fees” or “filing fees” for the processing and receipt of State of Florida Medicaid program benefits.  The total loss to the people of Florida is estimated to be $1.3 million dollars.

“When any public employee, particularly someone working with the needy, uses their position to enrich themselves, the people of Florida have a right to be frustrated and enraged,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “We can never tolerate fraud and theft by anyone, particularly by trusted public employees upon whom our community depends. Such thefts are the ultimate acts of betrayal.”

“The fraud in Florida’s Medicaid and Public Assistance programs is costing honest Floridians as much as $2 billion annually.  Cracking down on fraudsters like the one arrested today is key to stopping the bleeding of our state’s budget,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater.  “The partnership between my Division of Public Assistance Fraud and State Attorney Fernandez Rundle’s office led to today’s arrest, and we will continue to work together to bring criminals who scam the system to justice.”