Former Fla. State Employee Charged with 54 Counts of Fraud

February 20, 2003

A former state employee was arrested on charges that he filed 54 fraudulent travel claims while working as an inspector, according to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher.

Karl Michael Pries, a former Fire Protection Specialist with the Agency for Health Care Administration, surrendered around noon last weekend following an 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 the hotels he claimed on travel reimbursement requests.

Pries, of Crawfordville, allegedly collected more than $8,700 on 54 fraudulent travel claims submitted to the State of Florida between March 13, 2000, and Aug. 31, 2002. Investigators said the claims contained phony hotel receipts and false mileage statements. AHCA hired Pries in April 1999, and Pries left in November 2002.

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