Newtown Psychologist Arrested On Medicaid Fraud Charges
By Andrew Gorosko
On September 17, authorities arrested a local psychologist on charges that she bilked the Medicaid program out of almost $80,000 during 2016 and 2017 for services that she allegedly never performed, according to a statement from the Connecticut Chief State’s Attorney’s Office (CSAO).
Jeannie Pasacreta, PhD, 61, of Abbey Lane, Newtown, was arrested by inspectors from the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney, who charged Pasacreta with one count each of first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community, health insurance fraud, and first-degree identity theft. Pasacreta surrendered to CSAO inspectors at the Rocky Hill Police Department, where she was arrested and processed, according to a CSAO spokesman.
Authorities said they learned of the situation through a tip provided by a former employee of Pasacreta’s business, Integrated Mental Health Services.
The former employee told investigators that the doctor received “very large” payments from Medicaid even though she “barely works” and was “constantly canceling” appointments with patients, according to the CSAO.
Subsequent investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit found that over a two-year period beginning in 2016, Pasacreta billed Medicaid for hundreds of claims for services that were never rendered, according to CSAO.
Medicaid is a government program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, based on patient schedules, Medicaid payment histories, and 15 patients’ recollections of how many times they actually saw Pasacreta, among other information, Pasacreta received $79,418.77 more in Medicaid payments than she was entitled to receive.
Pasacreta is a licensed psychologist and advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). Her practice operates out of her Newtown home and offers counseling to patients with mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders.
Pasacreta was released on $150,000 bail and is scheduled for arraignment in Hartford Superior Court, Part A, on October 3.
First-degree larceny by defrauding a public community and first-degree identity theft are class B felonies, each punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Health insurance fraud is an unclassified felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
In the investigation, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit was assisted by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the state Department of Social Services Office of Quality Assurance, the state Attorney General’s Office, and the Rocky Hill Police Department.