Jill Coleman, a Creston, Iowa mental health counselor, was charged in late 2020 with felony practices, felony identity theft and misdemeanor tampering with records. This comes after prosecutors alleged that in 2018 through 2019 Coleman falsified 49 psychiatric diagnostic records for counseling services that did not occur. (I may not be a mental health professional, but in my professional opinion, this is just plain wrong.)
These false records were then submitted to Medicaid along with billing statements in order to receive reimbursement for the services that were never provided. This is far from the first time Coleman has been in trouble with the law. In 2016, she was convicted of tampering with records, which ultimately led to the Board of Behavioral Sciences placing her license on probation for two years. (But of course, a license on probation was just a hiccup for this fraudster.)
Due to Coleman’s license restrictions as a result of the previous case, the submitted Medicaid bills included the name of another practitioner. (The doctor is not in, but the fraudster is.) Details of this case are not known as the case was expunged from publicly available court records due to a deferred judgement from the court. (Wouldn’t it be interesting to know more about the details of this case?)
In late 2021, prosecutors dismissed Coleman’s two felony charges and she ultimately pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of tampering with records. Coleman was sentenced to one year of probation, a $855 fine, and is ordered to pay restitution. Coleman’s company, Coleman Counseling in Eagle Grove, was dissolved in 2020. (What a relief it is to know that a counseling center run by a criminal is no longer able to provide services, or in this case to not provide services, but charge as if she did.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the Iowa Capital Dispatch article, “Mental health counselor faces sanctions for Medicaid fraud,” published on April 8, 2022.
A northern Iowa mental health counselor twice convicted of tampering with records is facing new licensing sanctions for submitting fraudulent billing statements to Medicaid.
The Iowa Board of Behavioral Science has charged mental health counselor Jill Coleman of Creston with being convicted of an offense that directly relates to the duties and responsibilities of the profession.