Local audiologist accused of ripping off Medicaid

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. - An audiologist from Polk County and other individuals from as far north as Pasco County are accused of taking millions from taxpayers, Channel 9 has learned.

Terri Schneider, who had two clinics in Lakeland -- Cornerstone Health Specialists and Coastal Health Specialists – and a third in Brevard County, is accused in the scheme, which government officials said involved taking false reimbursement claims from Medicare.

Since the allegations came to light, patients like Jose Deleon haven't been to get his children in because those clinics have not opened since.

"Hearing these, obviously for my son because he's mentally challenged and with his type of condition, he barely hears anything," said Deleon.

Schneider is listed in an indictment with four other individuals. The indictment claims Schneider and David Brock Lovelace, who worked in Land O' Lakes, would establish clinics and submit "false and fraudulent Medicare reimbursement claims" for services not performed.

They're accused of taking millions from Medicare, which would deposit reimbursements into bank accounts for Cornerstone Health, Summit Health and Coastal Health.

Channel 9's Julie Salomone stopped by Schneider's home but she wouldn’t comment on the charges she's facing.

Lovelace's attorney, Anthony Vitale, released the following statement:

"It’s too early to speak about the specific allegations made in the indictment. It’s important to remember that Mr. Lovelace is presumed innocent and we are looking forward to a full airing of the facts."