MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge in Memphis has sentenced a state contract mental health counselor to three years in prison for fraud.
The Department of Justice announced 44-year-old Dr. Mechelle D. Toles of Collierville was sentenced Tuesday on her guilty plea to one count of health care fraud.
U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III said Toles billed the government for more than $600,000 worth of counseling that she did not perform. Stanton said Toles was contracted to help at-risk children, but said she “brazenly helped herself” to taxpayers’ money.
Toles received referrals from the Shelby County Juvenile Court. Hundreds of her referrals were minors covered by TennCare, which is funded with federal dollars.
A managed care organization noticed an unusually high number of counseling claims. The TBI investigated, leading to federal prosecution.