Court Notebook: Bonita man on probation after Medicaid fraud charges

A Bonita Springs man charged with submitting up to $80,000 in fraudulent Medicaid receipts was sentenced to a year of house arrest and probation after the case fell apart.

Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt imposed the sentence this month on Timothy Timmer, 44, of Latitude Drive, who also must serve three years of probation after completing house arrest.

The sentence was part of a plea agreement in which 17 charges of filing false Medicaid claims were dropped and one was amended to fraudulently obtaining less than $20,000, which he pleaded to. Under the plea deal, an adjudication of guilt was withheld and Timmer won’t have a felony conviction if he successfully completes his sentence. He also was ordered to pay restitution.

“He had thousands of billings and they found 20 instances,” said Timmer’s defense attorney Donald Day. “It was little things like, ‘you put the wrong date in or the wrong time.’ After all these years, they finally amended the charges.”

He’d faced up to five years in a state prison on each of the third-degree felonies.

In January, charges were dropped against his co-defendant, Lisa Lewis, 40, of Clipper Way in Naples, after George Richards, a chief assistant prosecutor for the state Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution who has since become a judge, told a circuit judge he couldn’t prove Lewis’ signatures were on Medicaid receipts.

Witnesses had told Richards they wouldn’t testify the signatures and initials were in her handwriting.

The two were arrested in June 2008 after clients and Medicaid staff told investigators they didn’t provide the services they billed for, while some receipts showed services to several clients at the same time at different locations, and others were charged for times when Lewis and Timmer were working for Collier County Parks and Recreation.

Their business, Collier Connections, which operated out of Lewis’ home, is inactive.

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