Former Director of Adoption Agency Arrested

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) arrested Debra W. West, 46, yesterday for grand theft over $100,000. West, the former director of Adoption by Choice (ABC) from 1992 to 2005, allegedly defrauded dozens of adoptive parents by overcharging them for unnecessary birthmother living and medical expenses. Several of the adoptive parents were charged for medical expenses when the birthmothers were fully covered by Medicaid. Investigators believe West had been defrauding parents since 2000.

The total grand theft loss is $188,008 of which $58,235 were medical expenses already covered by Medicaid. These offenses occurred in Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus, Marion, Pinellas, Sarasota, Brevard and Alachua counties. West is being held without bond at the Pasco County Corrections Facility.

For more information, contact:

Trena Reddick
Public Information Officer
FDLE - Tampa Bay
(813) 878-7239 or 878-7300