Volume 2 Number 15
April 11, 2005










TEXT VERSION

 






 

UNLICENSED POMPANO BEACH PSYCHOTHERAPIST ARRESTED AGAIN

State insurance fraud investigators arrested an unlicensed psychotherapist a second time for practicing psychotherapy without a license and fraudulently billing insurance companies.  Lubomir Lacho, 53, of 2832 N.E. 32nd St., was arrested this morning at New Hope Counseling Center, located at 3500 N.E. Fifth Ave.  It appeared he had a full schedule of patients for the day.

Investigators with the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, arrested and charged Lacho
on three counts of insurance fraud, six counts of third-degree grand theft, three counts of second-degree grand theft, six counts of unlicensed practice of mental health counseling/psychotherapy, and one count of first-degree organized scheme to defraud.  The charges reflect billings of more than $111,000 to insurance companies and patients.  The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association assisted in the investigation.

“These patients were put at risk of not getting the care they really need,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “And this man has clearly shown his intent to operate outside the boundaries of good medicine and the law.”  

One patient told investigators that she had been seeing Lacho since her release from a psychiatric hospital.  One of the conditions of her release was to see a licensed psychotherapist. 

Lacho was booked into the Broward County Jail.  If convicted, statutorily he could face up to more than 100 years in prison.

Lacho was arrested on similar charges in February 2004, and the Department of Health issued him a Cease and Desist Order in 1994.
  This latest investigation was based on information from Aetna, Cigna, and Great West Life & Annuity Insurance Company indicating Lacho misrepresented information on health insurance claims (HCFAs) for patients that he treated.    

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance.  Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should call the department's Fraud Busters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.  A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Gadsden, Florida's fifth county, was formed in 1823. It once ran from Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Suwannee River to the Apalachicola River. Quincy, the county seat, was incorporated in 1828. The courthouse, above, was built in 1912.