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Thomaston woman charged in $661,000 medicaid fraud

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THOMASTON — A Thomaston woman was charged Tuesday with illegally billing Medicaid for more than $600,000 for in services.

Andrea J. Prenez,  40, of Thomaston, was charged with larceny in the first degree by defrauding a public community, criminal attempt to commit larceny in the first degree by defrauding a public community, identity theft in the first degree and health insurance fraud.

Officials said Prenez did business under the names of Sweet Counseling Services and Thomaston Counseling Associates, offering marriage and family therapy services. Authorities said Prenez failed the state licensing examination for marriage and family therapy three times and was not authorized to either provide Medicaid for services.

Officials said starting in June 2012, Prenez used the identity of a relative, who is authorized to bill Medicaid, for services totaling $661,205 in claims for 84 patients to Medicaid. The relative whose name was used for the billings was not aware of the scheme, the warrant states.

Prenez was released on a $500,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on June 21, 2017. If convicted, she could face up to 20 years each for larceny in the first degree by defrauding a public community, criminal attempt to commit larceny in the first degree by defrauding a public community, identity theft in the first degree and five years for health insurance fraud.