Miami Herald, September 8, 2011

An audit manager who served as a financial watchdog for cash-strapped Jackson Health System is accused of masterminding a payroll fraud plan that bilked $83,000 from the public hospitals using ?ghost employees,? prosecutors said Wednesday, adding that the investigation is continuing and more arrests are expected. In the latest accusation against an employee of Jackson, which has lost more than $400 million during the past three years, Tiffany Gordon-Smith was charged with participating in an organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and unlawful compensation. Her lawyer, Peter Raben, said Wednesday that Gordon-Smith has made arrangements to surrender ?and is eager to have her day in court.? The two ?ghost employees? were arrested Wednesday. Janet Lockwood and Kenneth Mitchell are charged with participating in an organized scheme to defraud and grand theft. They could not be immediately located for comment. The charges involve $83,000 in Jackson paychecks made out over eight months to Lockwood and Mitchell. According to a statement supporting the arrest warrant, Miami-Dade Detective Noel Varela said Lockwood was paid $17,000 by Jackson for four months ? at the same time that records show she was attending U.S. Navy boot camps in Michigan and Illinois.
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