By KIM LEATHERMAN
SEBRING — Andrea Culli, 38, of Ormond Beach turned himself in to the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 27 after a Highlands County warrant for him was signed on Sept. 24 with over 20 charges listed. Culli posted the $38,000 bond and was released. Now, the Agency for Health Care Administration is looking into his business practices.
Culli has 22 felony charges in the court ranging from grand theft over $10,000 but less than $50,000 from a person 65 years old or older, fraud, scheme to defraud under $20,000, using personal ID of someone deceased, forgery and more, according to the Clerk of County Court website.
The HCSO arrest report shows Culli’s victim was a now-deceased client of Precious Angel’s Home Care, a company Culli owns that is supposed to provide home health care and companionship for senior citizens. The report shows that between Oct. 1 and Oct. 6, Culli deposited four checks the victim used to pay for services while she was alive. Culli allegedly altered the checks and deposited them again for a total over $28,000.
According to HCSO, Culli admitted to altering the checks to get what he was owed. Precious Angel Home Care billed at $22 per hour. Because of the documented records, deputies determined the victim would only owe $6,000 at the most.
The Arcadian reported in 2015 that Culli, who answers to Andre, bought the home health agency from Lori Coker with a location in Arcadia and one in Sebring. The website does show a third location in Charlotte, but on Tuesday, AHCA spokesperson Patrick Manderfield said he did not know about the Charlotte branch but would check into it. As of Friday, the Sebring office was vacated and the office was emptied. Presumably the medical records were as well.
“Andrea Culli held two licenses for Precious Angels Home Care Inc. — one in Sebring, one in Arcadia. Neither license is currently active,” Manderfield said on Oct. 8.
Operating without a license could bring more woes to Culli.
“The facility’s operation is under review by the Agency for unlicensed activity,” Manderfield said. “Mr. Culli is currently not eligible for employment due to this arrest.”
The Highlands News-Sun called the three phone numbers and left voicemails with all three. No calls have been returned. A personal visit to the Sebring location showed it was vacant.
The Sebring location was a rental office within the chamber of commerce Welcome Center. CEO and President Liz Barber said only the manager was usually in the office and she seemed as surprised as the rest of them. She was given very little notice. Barber said she was surprised because the company had rented there for years and never seemed like they had problems.
“I just thought they were having business troubles when he wanted to break the month to month agreement.”
HCSO is still investigating Culli. Anyone with information should call Det. Chris Cloud at 863-402-7250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous tips can be called into Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477 and could lead to an reward.
Highlands Sun editor Allen Moody contributed to this report.