Therapist indicted for Medicaid fraud

NJ OAG Stephanie Fleming
Stephanie Fleming


A Lyndhurst woman, employed as a professional counselor to children with autism was indicted last week on 43 criminal counts for allegedly submitting false reimbursement claims to Medicaid for in-home counseling and therapy services she did not provide.

The indictment against Stephanie Fleming, 38, was handed up Tuesday, Sept. 29, by a state grand jury in Trenton, state Attorney General John J. Hoffman and the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor (OIFP) announced.

The defendant is charged with multiple counts of second-degree health-care claims fraud, third-degree Medicaid fraud, and fourth-degree forgery. She also faces a single count of second-degree theft by deception because she received Medicaid reimbursement totaling more than $9,000, authorities said.

OIFP investigators say that, between March 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015, Fleming — working as a licensed therapist for an in-home service provider in Morris County — fraudulently sought Medicaid payments for full counseling and therapy “encounter” sessions that she either did not conduct at all, or that she began but failed to complete.

The company’s client base is primarily youth with autism, and the objective of the inhome programs is to improve –or stabilize – the children’s level of functioning within the home, in school and in the community, Hoffman said.

The indictment alleges that Fleming fraudulently billed Medicaid $6,328 for 21 counseling/ therapy sessions that did not take place and $2,712 for 10 full sessions that were actually partial sessions.

In addition, Fleming is charged with multiple counts of forgery for allegedly falsifying the signatures of Medicaid beneficiary parents or guardians on reimbursement documentation.

“Although any attempt to defraud government healthcare programs is unlawful and cannot be tolerated, it is particularly deplorable that this defendant allegedly billed for services provided to children with autism that she did not provide,” Hoffman said.

– Karen Zautyk 

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