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posted: 10/3/2012 1:56 PM

Inverness psychologist indicted for Medicare fraud

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An Inverness psychologist is facing federal Medicare fraud charges after being indicted Tuesday by a grand jury.

In the indictment, 57-year-old Sharon A. Rinaldi is accused of billing the government's senior citizen health care benefit program for services she did not provide by submitting "thousands of false and fraudulent claims."

The indictment alleges Rinaldi billed Medicare for psychotherapy sessions with beneficiaries who were deceased or claimed to perform sessions on days when she was not in the state. She also is accused of inflating the number of hours she spent providing services, "in many instances exceeding 24 hours in a single day," the indictment reads.

When reached by phone, Rinaldi refused to comment.

Among the allegations, prosecutors accuse Rinaldi of billing Medicare for 49 individual psychotherapy sessions performed on Dec. 30, 2010.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of $93,016 seized from Rinaldi's home in September and another $8,421 seized from her bank account. The government would also seek forfeiture of an oceanfront home in San Diego if other money or assets were not available, according to court papers.

Rinaldi is facing a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

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