DEC 05, 2022

Attorney General Alan Wilson announces arrest of Spartanburg woman for alleged fraud and exploiting nursing home resident

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that his office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (SCMFCU) has arrested Tiawana Renee Smith-Browning, 56 years old, of Spartanburg, SC for Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult {43-35-0085 (D)} and Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, value of $10,000 or more {16-13-230 (B)(3)}. Smith-Browning was booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center on December 2, 2022.

An SCMFCU investigation revealed that on or about April 7, 2022, Smith-Browning signed a vulnerable adult resident out of a nursing facility in Spartanburg County in order to obtain power of attorney. Then, as the victim’s power of attorney, Smith-Browning willfully made, with fraudulent intent, unlawful and improper use of the victim’s funds and assets. During the time of the alleged misconduct the victim, a vulnerable adult under South Carolina law, resided at Magnolia Manor in Spartanburg.

Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult and Breach of Trust with Fraudulent Intent, value $10,000 or more are both felonies and, upon conviction, have penalties of imprisonment for not more than five years and/or a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars and a fine at the discretion of the court or imprisonment of not more than ten years, respectively.

Pursuant to federal regulations, the SCMFCU has authority over Medicaid provider fraud; abuse and neglect of Medicaid beneficiaries in any setting; and the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals residing in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. 

Attorney General Wilson stressed all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty in a court of law.

The SCMFCU receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $2,318,568 for federal fiscal year 2023. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $772,852 for FFY 2023, is funded by South Carolina.

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