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Former Miami Beach clinic head surrenders to FBI

BY JOHN DORSCHNER AND JAY WEAVER, JDORSCHNER@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Kathryn Abbate, former head of the Miami Beach Community Health Center, surrendered to the FBI on Wednesday, charged with defrauding federal healthcare agencies.

She is scheduled to make her first court appearance at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Abbate was fired last year after the center’s board alleged that she had diverted $6.8 million in funds to her personal use -- money that were intended to provide care for the poor who used the clinic, which is a federally qualified health center, entitling it to special state-federal Medicaid funds.

The formal charges accuse Abbate of taking more than $10,000 between 2008 and 2012, according to a federal court document. . She is charged by information, a sign she is cooperating with prosecutors and FBI agents. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison.

The center employs about 300 people and gets about $4 million annually from the federal government.

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