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Psychotherapist who pleaded guilty to fraud is freed from jail

December 21, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

A former Berkeley Springs, W.Va., woman who was jailed in July after entering guilty pleas to fraud charges connected to her Hancock counseling center was released from jail Thursday after her sentence was modified.

Barbara Andreadis served 142 days in the Washington County Detention Center after entering a guilty plea in May to one count each of felony insurance fraud and felony Medicaid fraud.

According to the Maryland Attorney General's Office, Andreadis, a psychotherapist, began defrauding insurance providers in 1999 and falsified information on more than 5,000 bills submitted for insurance reimbursement. She was the director of Crossroads Behavior Therapy Center in Hancock.

Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley sentenced Andreadis on July 30 to eight years in prison on the Medicaid fraud charge, and five years in prison on the insurance fraud charge, but ordered her only to serve 15 months in the local jail.

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Andreadis' lawyers at the time indicated they would file for a sentence reduction.

Andreadis must still pay restitution to private insurers and the state Medicaid program. Court records indicated this week she had not begun paying $85,000 owed to the state health care system or about $17,000 owed to private insurers.

Beachley also ruled Thursday that Andreadis must face one year of supervised probation, and four years of unsupervised probation, and cannot practice as a licensed social worker.

If Andreadis does not repay the money, she could face the remainder of her full sentence: a maximum of seven years and seven months in prison. Court records indicate she will move to Montgomery County, Md.

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