A pastor running the OAN mental health center in the town of Kissimmee, Osceola County, Florida has been jailed after for fraudulently billing medicaid a total of $94,000 for patients that were never treated, while fictitious records were also created for them, Orlando Sentinel reports. Rev. Lynda-Lee Aikiema Gonsalves-Barnes who runs the clinic as part of the Omega Alpha Nu Church she founded in 2012, including the OAN Life Church and OAN Christian Academy, is a licensed mental health provider in Florida that includes therapy with elements of Christian spirituality as part of the mental health healing program.
According to Orlando Sentinel, the charges by the State Attorney Office includes creating a fictional therapist called Elizabeth Delgado to sign papers and bill medicaid, hiring a high school graduate to take blood pressure and giving business cards to potential clients to visit the clinic with a vehicle provided to and fro from the clinic while billing medicaid extensively for ‘treatments’.
Other charges from the State Attorney Office are as follows:
On Nov. 26, a mother visited the clinic seeking clothing for her children and help paying her rent. After providing her children’s Medicaid numbers, the staff never contacted her again but billed Medicaid $5,112 for 127 mental-health sessions, records state.
Another woman who never visited the clinic was baffled how OAN obtained her 16-month-old child’s Medicaid data and how OAN received $7,644 for 160 phantom visits, records state.
In January 2014, a woman without mental-health problems visited “OAN’s office once and didn’t like the facility and never went back.” But Gonsalves-Barnes billed Medicaid for 216 visits through October and received $11,940 for treatment, records state.
Orlando Sentinel tried to reach the church’s 6 board members for an interview but was declined. The church hosts services in Kissimmee and Orlando. Gonsalves-Barnes, 36, holds a doctorate in Christian education from Northwestern Theological Seminary, which advertises advanced degrees can be earned in as little five months. Arrested with her was Jessica Allen, 32, who admitted to signing documents as Elizabeth Delgado, the fictitious therapist.