June 22, 2018

Norwich counselor arrested, sued for fraud

Connecticut is suing a Norwich mental-health counselor accused of overbilling the state for unprovided services, the state attorney general says.

Meantime, Susan Britt, 47, was arrested Thursday on criminal charges tied to her alleged scheme, authorities said.

Britt was arraigned Thursday in state court on criminal charges of first-degree larceny, theft from a community and identity theft. She was freed on a $225,000 bond and due back in Hartford court on Aug. 16.

Neither Britt nor her lawyer could be immediately located Friday for comment.

Britt ran her counseling practice, An Inner Peace, from her home, Attorney General George P. Jepsen's office and state Department of Social Services said.

Britt is accused of breaching the state's False Claims Act for allegedly trying to hide her misdeeds by failing to maintain or destroying records.

According to investigators, Britt from Jan. 2013 to Sept. 2016 falsely billed the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (CMAP), which includes the state's Medicaid program, for more than $530,000 in services she claimed she provided to patients once or twice weekly. Britt also billed CMAP for additional visits for those patients, services state investigators say were never provided.

The state is suing to recover the fraudulent sums paid to Britt, plus triple damages and other unspecified relief.

The state says authorities are also pursuing related criminal charges against Britt. Her case is part of a broader, ongoing state and federal task force's probe into fraud and abuse in state-funded healthcare and human-services programs.

Legal Investigator Thomas Martin, assistant state's attorneys general Richard Porter and Michael Cole, who is chief of the state's Antitrust and Government Program Fraud Department, are assisting Jepsen's probe.

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