A Record of Crime

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Calculator and stethoscope on paperwork

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.

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.