Tallahassee counseling center workers indicted on Medicaid fraud

Health care fraud graphic by MGN.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
September 19, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — The owner and a mental health counselor of a Tallahassee counseling center were indicted on 75 counts of health care fraud, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release.

Stephanie Lynn Fleming, 42, and Helen Elizabeth Storey, 37, were arrested in Waldorf, Maryland after the indictment was handed down. The indictment says that Storey owned North Florida Mental Health and Fleming was employed as a licensed mental health counselor there.

The indictment also said starting around April 2016, Fleming and Storey submitted false claims for payment and reimbursement to Florida Medicaid and its managed care organizations for psychotherapy, psychiatric diagnostic evaluations and therapeutic behavioral services.

In total, Fleming and Storey illegally took or tried to take more than $250,000 from Florida Medicaid.

Storey and Fleming face the following potential penalties:

  • Conspiracy to commit health care fraud: maximum 20 years prison
  • Health care fraud: maximum of 10 years in prison per count
  • False statements in connection to health care matters: a maximum of five years in prison per count
  • Aggravated identity theft: a two year mandatory minimum prison sentence per county

    “Law enforcement works tirelessly to detect health care fraud, and we will continue to use every lawful tool at our disposal to prosecute those who defraud public programs of their limited funds,” U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe said. “This indictment is the next step in holding these two defendants accountable for their actions.”

    Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said her office was monitoring this case.

    “Providing health care services without a valid license is not just a safety concern, it is illegal. Our Medicaid Fraud Control Unit worked closely with federal officials on this case to stop health care fraud and protect patients," Moody said. "Fraud of any kind will not be tolerated in Florida, and we will continue to work with our federal partners to protect the integrity of the Medicaid program.”

    Fleming and Storey's arraignment is scheduled for September 26 at 1:30 p.m. at the U.S. Courthouse in Tallahassee.

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