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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Nurse’s license revoked over stolen food stamps

A nurse in Ocala who was sentenced to 48 months of probation in 2020 after pleading nolo contendere to one count of welfare fraud, has had her license permanently revoked by the Florida Department of Health.

Ruth Brown was revoked of her nursing license by the Board of Nursing on Wednesday, November 8, according to a final order filed with the FDOH.

Brown, whose address is listed in Ocala, was originally arrested in Lake County in 2019.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in Lake County, between October 2015 and April 2018, Brown allegedly failed to report over $90,000 in income from two different employers in an effort to receive “public assistance and/or aid or benefits.”

As a result, Brown allegedly received $12,102 in “excessive Food Stamp Benefits,” between October 2015 and November 2017, and between March 2018 and April 2018, according to court records.

On February 18, 2020, Brown pled nolo contendere to one count of welfare fraud and was sentenced to 48 months of probation, as well as restitution of $12,102 and $50 per month, according to court records.

According to court records, the FDOH filed an administrative complaint against Brown requesting that the Board of Nursing enter an order to impose “revocation or suspension” of her license.

In its complaint, the department says Brown’s plea to a crime of welfare fraud “violates the trust and confidence” of the licensing body.

The complaint goes on to suggest that any intentional violation of the “rules adopted by the board” is grounds for “disciplinary action.”

The administrative complaint was signed by Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo on May 22, 2023.

According to the Board of Nursing’s final order, the matter appeared before that board at a “duly noticed public meeting held on October 4-6, 2023, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.”