The owner of a Ponte Vedra-based home care agency said the company received false credentials from its former nurse administrator, who was arrested Monday by St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
SJSO officers arrested Amy Suzanne Pohlman, 50, on two counts of practicing as a health care professional without an active, valid Florida license. An investigation concluded she had falsely claimed to be a registered nurse and advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP), as well as to having several advanced degrees in the medical field.
Pohlman was released from the county jail after posting $50,000 bond.
“We were given false documentation,” said Seth Movsovitz, owner of Ponte Vedra Home Care, in an interview with The Ponte Vedra Recorder. “We’re still in shock that anybody would pretend to be a professional without the proper credentials, especially someone that we’ve known personally for over 25 years.”
Movsovitz, who graduated with Pohlman from the Bolles School in 1984, said he hired her in October 2015 to become the company’s nurse administrator. In that role, she was responsible for understanding company policies and procedures, said Movsovitz, and helping the company prepare for Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) inspections. She also assisted with marketing and conducted home assessments when personal and nursing care were needed.
Over time though, Movsovitz said, Pohlman started expanding upon her job responsibilities in a manner that aroused suspicion.
“She started providing nursing care management that was beyond her scope of job responsibility,” he said.
Movsovitz said this activity prompted the company to follow up on the validity of her credentials in June 2016. When they realized her licenses were fake, he said they immediately notified the Department of Health, which triggered the investigation. Pohlman resigned from Ponte Vedra Home Care soon after.
“Once we discovered that the licenses were fraudulent, within 24 hours, we notified every client and staff member that she was no longer affiliated with the company,” said Movsovitz, who added the company is not currently facing any disciplinary action from AHCA.
Detectives within the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Special Victims Unit (SVU) and a medical investigator from the Florida Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit assumed control of the investigation in September 2016. They concluded that Pohlman had created a fake ARNP license, and both signed a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order and performed a physical exam on an applicant of Ponte Vedra Home Care while in the role.
Authorities said their investigation also revealed that Pohlman does not hold the Master of Science in nursing or doctorate in neurophysiology that she claimed, or any nursing degree at all.
Detectives also noted they observed an award plaque in Pohlman’s office purporting to be from the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at the Mayo Clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota. Investigators established that no such award was given by the Mayo Clinic and that Pohlman had paid for the plaque to be created by a Jacksonville trophy and award business.