Psych Crime Reporter

April 3, 2018

To Residents of Southeast Kentucky

Re: Cumberland River Comprehensive Care/Cumberland River Behavioral Health

Do you or did you go to public school in Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle or Whitley county?

As a student, did you receive counseling or other services from a mental health counselor at your school and/or outside of school?

Were you pressured to be involved in these services?

Did you disagree with having to participate in these services?

Did you disagree with your diagnosis?

Do you feel that your education, health, reputation, or quality of life has been affected by having had to receive these mental health services?

If so, and you’d like to discuss what happened and what you might be able to do about it, we recommend that you contact Steve Wagner at the Citizens Commission on Human Rights at




August 7, 2013

Counselor Sarah N. Kohlenberger reprimanded, fined for failing to acknowledge child’s serious medical condition

Filed under: mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:29 pm

On April 16, 2013, the Washington State Department of Health (DoH) issued an agreed order, reprimanding mental health counselor Sarah Natanya Kohlenberger.

According to the DoH’s document, in 2009, Kohlenberger counseled a woman for depression relative to the care of child she’d adopted who was diagnosed with systemic juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), and autoimmune disorder that causes persistent swelling of the joints, stiffness, pain, inflammation, fevers and rash.

Kohlenberger later took on the child as a client as well but failed to adequately research the child’s condition and failed to communicate with the diagnosing medical doctor. As a result, she failed to incorporate the child’s condition into her treatment plan.

Further, in December 2011, Kohlenberger drafted a letter at the request of the adoptive parents, who were seeking to relinquish care to another family. In the letter, Kohlenberger characterized the child’s condition as a strictly behavioral matter, omitting the existence of the child’s JRA.

A medical doctor who treated the child acknowledge him as “one of the sickest children I have ever seen” and expressed concern at Kohlenberger’s “nonsensical” diagnosis of the child and her “absence of training” in neurology and rheumatology: “She seems to be attempting to practice medicine and psychiatry without a license and is doing great harm” he wrote.

In addition to the reprimand, Kohlenberger was placed on practice monitoring for 24 months and must pay a fine of $2,500.

State denies license to Donald D. Flemmer; misrepresented credentials to out-of-state employer

Filed under: fraud,mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:28 pm
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On August 17, 2012, the Maryland State Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists denied Donald Duane Flemmer’s (a.k.a. David Flemmer) application for licensure to practice as a licensed clinical professional counselor.

Flemmer, who was previously licensed in the state as clinical professional counselor, allowed his license to lapse on December 31, 2008 and failed to renew it.

The Board’s document states, among other things, that the Board received a complaint on December 2010 from the Maryland State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, alleging that Flemmer had submitted forged documents to the a prospective employer in which he misrepresented himself as a psychologist. The Board of Psychology also received a complaint from the prospective employer which alleged that Flemmer “fraudulently misrepresented himself as a licensed psychologist in the State of Maryland.”

In October 2010, Flemmer submitted an application for renewal of his clinical counseling license. The Counseling Board began a review of his application and, in doing so, received information from the Psychology Board about his alleged misrepresentation of his qualifications as a psychologist.

Under investigation by both the Counseling and Psychology Boards, Flemmer, among other things, denied applying for a position as a psychologist, “feigning confusion and surprise at such an assertion,” according to the Board’s document.

Flemmer had no explanation as to how the prospective employer had obtained forged psychology licensing documents with his name or why the prospective employer claimed that Flemmer had been hired as Director of Behavioral Health in its North Dakota facility.

The employer verified that Flemmer had been hired and had posed as a licensed psychologist for two weeks prior to the discovery of his forged credentials.

Counselor Mechell Toles sentenced to prison for fraud

Filed under: fraud,mental health counselor,Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 2:36 pm
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A federal judge in Memphis has sentenced a state contract mental health counselor to three years in prison for fraud.

The Department of Justice announced 44-year-old Dr. Mechell D. Toles of Collierville was sentenced Tuesday on her guilty plea to one count of health care fraud.

U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III said Toles billed the government for more than $600,000 worth of counseling that she did not perform. Stanton said Toles was contracted to help at-risk children, but said she “brazenly helped herself” to taxpayers’ money.

Toles received referrals from the Shelby County Juvenile Court. Hundreds of her referrals were minors covered by TennCare, which is funded with federal dollars.

A managed care organization noticed an unusually high number of counseling claims. The TBI investigated, leading to federal prosecution.

Source: “Collierville mental health contractor sentenced,” Kansas City Star, August 7, 2013.

November 7, 2012

Mental health counselor Margie Hollingsworth going to prison for 47 months for Medicaid fraud

Filed under: crime and fraud,Medicaid-Medicare fraud,mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:00 am

A Lubbock counselor was sentenced Friday to 47 months in prison and ordered to pay more than $556,000 in restitution for making false statements in Medicaid billings.

U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings also ordered Margie E. Hollingsworth to pay a $6,000 fine.

Cummings gave Hollingsworth, who still has a counseling practice, a month to help her clients find other counseling services and deal with personal matters before reporting to prison.

She faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hollingsworth pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements involving health care matters.

A federal grand jury handed down an 18-count indictment in December, including 12 counts of health care fraud and six counts of making false statements.

The case apparently started with a state investigation that led to a Lubbock County grand jury indicting her in October 2010 on one count of Medicaid fraud of more than $200,000. According to court documents, county prosecutors were nearing a trial date when the federal indictment came down.

At that point, the state dismissed its case.

According to the federal indictment, Hollingsworth billed Medicaid for more than $1 million from January 2004 through December 2009, and was paid $576,234, including $556,704 in fraudulent claims.

Hollingsworth and federal public defender David Sloan told Cummings Friday that Hollingsworth’s illegal billings involved seeing clients after they’d used up their 30 annual sessions allowed by Medicaid, or billing for services Medicaid doesn’t cover, such as long-distance telephone services.

“She wasn’t using her patients as an ATM card,” Sloan said.

Hollingsworth, who said she is 62, asked for a suspended sentence so she could keep working to pay off the restitution, because she will have no income while in prison.

She said she still has her counseling license, and said she intended to apply for Social Security and a reverse mortgage to help pay off the restitution.

Source: “Counselor gets 47 months in Medicaid fraud case,” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, October 19, 2012. 

October 24, 2012

Mental health counselor Margie Hollingsworth gets 46 months prison for Medicaid fraud

Filed under: crime and fraud,Medicaid-Medicare fraud,mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 11:42 am

Licensed professional counselor Margie E. Hollingsworth, of Lubbock was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 46 months in federal prison, following her guilty plea in February 2012 to one count of making a false statement in a health care matter. In addition, Judge Cummings ordered that Hollingsworth pay a $6,000 fine and $556,704 in restitution to Medicaid. She must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on or before November 23, 2012. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña, of the Northern District of Texas.

According to the factual resume filed in the case, from January 2, 2004 through December 2009, Hollingsworth, an approved Medicaid provider, submitted a claim to Medicare for three hours of face-to-face counseling provided to a patient in Lubbock on Christmas Day 2009, when in fact, she was in Colorado at the time. According to the indictment, during this time period, the total amount Hollingsworth billed for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries was between $1 million and $2.5 million. Of that amount, Hollingsworth was paid approximately $576,234.39. Of that, $556,704 was paid for fraudulent claims.

The case was investigated by the Texas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Burch of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lubbock was in charge of the prosecution.

Source: News release of the the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, October 19, 2012.

September 17, 2012

Counselor Linda S. Radeker defrauded Medicaid $6.1 million

Filed under: crime and fraud,Medicaid-Medicare fraud,mental health,mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 9:34 am

A Shelby counselor accused of participating in a $6.1 million Medicaid scheme pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to health care fraud conspiracy and money laundering.

Linda Smoot Radeker, 61, filed false claims of mental and behavioral health services to Medicaid between 2008 and 2011, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Federal prosecutors said she used the fraudulently obtained money to buy a $21,500 Ford Ranger, a $44,440 Lincoln SUV, an RV and at least $500,000 in jewelry. “Radeker’s criminal conduct is an assault on health care resources meant to cover the needs of the poor, the sick and the elderly,” U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins said in a statement.

Radeker filed claims to Medicaid, listing herself as the attending clinician, when such services had not been provided, according to prosecutors.

She also worked with others in Gaston and Cleveland counties and elsewhere, allowing them to use her Medicaid provider information to file false claims, prosecutors said. For agreeing to “rent out” that provider number, she kept a percentage – up to 50 percent – of the fraudulent reimbursements.

The false claims were mostly filed on behalf of children whose parents thought they were enrolling in after-school programs owned and operated by Radeker’s co-conspirators in Shelby, Kings Mountain and Bessemer City. Authorities did not provide the names of Radeker’s co-conspirators, citing the ongoing investigation. It was through those programs that Radeker and others got the children’s Medicaid information, prosecutors said.

Radeker pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud conspiracy and two counts of money laundering. She faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. As part of her plea agreement, prosecutors said, Radeker agreed to pay full restitution to Medicaid for losses resulting from the scheme. That amount will be determined at a sentencing hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

The scheme targeted some of the area’s most vulnerable families, betraying parents dependent on Medicaid for their children’s care, said Chris Briese, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Charlotte Division, which assisted in the investigation. “Health care fraud not only poses a potential risk to patients, it increases costs for everyone,” he said.

Source: Meghan Cooke, “Shelby Medicaid counselor pleads guilty in $6.1 million scheme,” Charlotte Observer, September 14, 2012.

August 14, 2012

Texas counselor Larry Etter surrenders license following child sex crime conviction

Filed under: child molestation,mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 9:01 pm

On April 20, 2012, the Texas Department of State Health Services Board of Counseling accepted the voluntary surrender of counselor Larry Etter’s license based on his criminal conviction.

On March 6, 2012, Etter was sentenced to 10 years in prison, having  pleaded guilty to 22 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Etter met the victim of his assaults when he was counseling her father. He sexually assaulted her for ten years, from the time she was eight years old.

Etter also neglected to report the filing of criminal charges against him to the Board.

State suspends license of mental health counselor Ronald Ray Jones

Filed under: boundary violation,mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:59 pm

On February 29, 2012, the Idaho Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists suspended the license of professional counselor Ronald Ray Jones for one month, followed by one year of probation with conditions.

The Board’s Order states that in approximately May 2007, Jones began providing counseling services to a female client and her son and that Jones allegedly engaged in boundary violations with the client.

Though Jones denied the allegations of boundary violations, he acknowledged that he could have done a better job of recording and documenting various meetings and contact with the client.

Source: Stipulation and Consent Order in the Matter of the License of Ronald Ray Jones, License No. LPC-3560, Case No. COU-2011-8.

Idaho mental health counselor David Reynolds surrenders license

Filed under: mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:58 pm

On January 5, 2012, the Idaho Board of Professional Counselors and Marriage & Family Therapists accepted the surrender of counselor David Reynolds’ license.

According the Board’s Consent Order, Reynolds was terminated by his employer due to his failure to provide appropriate care for clients.

Reynolds was late for or missed appointments on several occasions and failed to adequately communicate with his client. He also failed to keep accurate and timely records of the care he provided.

The document indicates that Reynolds attributed his failure to provide appropriate care, etc. to his withdrawal from the antidepressant Cymbalta.

Source: Stipulation and Consent Order in the Matter of the License of David A. Reynolds, License No. LPC-3385, Case No. COU-2012-4.

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