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Former State Employee Sentenced for Filing False Travel Claims for Reimbursement


CONTACT: Tami Torres or Justin Glover
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE - A former state employee was sentenced to 240 days in the Leon County jail and ordered to pay full restitution and court costs for filing 51 fraudulent travel claims while working as an inspector with the Agency for Health Care Administration, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced today.

"Misuse of taxpayer dollars and public trust will not be tolerated," said Gallagher. "We will continue to hold individuals who abuse state resources accountable."

Karl Michael Pries, 47, a former Fire Protection Specialist with AHCA, was convicted Tuesday and sentenced today in Leon County following a joint investigation by the Department of Financial Services' Office of Fiscal Integrity, the Agency for Health Care Administration's Office of Inspector General and the State Attorney's Office of the Second Judicial Circuit. An AHCA supervisor initiated the investigation after receiving a tip that Pries had not been staying in hotels he claimed on travel reimbursement requests.

Pries, of Crawfordville, collected more than $8,400 on 51 fraudulent travel claims submitted between March 13, 2000, and Aug. 31, 2002. Investigators say the claims contained phony hotel receipts and false automobile mileage statements. Pries was hired in April 1999 and left state government in November 2002.

This Office of Fiscal Integrity is responsible for investigating allegations of fraud and abuse involving state property and money. To report fraud, waste or abuse of state resources, call 1-800-GET-LEAN (1-800-438-5326).