Friday, 25 November 2011 00:00
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced on Nov. 16 that a Los Angeles woman is facing multiple felony charges, including grand larceny, after holding herself out as a psychologist, treating patients and billing an insurance company despite not having a license to practice medicine.
Amora Rachelle, 35, of Los Angeles and formerly of Atlantic Beach, was arrested in Westbury on Nov. 15 by DA investigators and charged with Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and Unauthorized Practice, all felonies. Rachelle faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
Rice said that between 2008 and 2010, Rachelle, known professionally as Dr. Amora, held herself out as a psychologist and treated patients in her home despite not having a license to do so. In 2008, Rachelle provided mental health services to a car accident victim and fraudulently received more than $3,400 from GEICO for “psych” services rendered, said Rice.
In addition, in February 2009, Rachelle, possessing only a limited permit and only qualified to practice under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, lied to the New York State Courts on an unsuccessful application for a position on a panel of court-appointed psychologists and continued to illegally treat patients in December 2009 after being denied a full license by the New York State Department of Education, Office of the Professions, said the DA.
According to Rice, from November 2009 through early 2010, although still unlicensed, Rachelle illegally saw patients through her personal practice, Heath I.Q. After the initial three months, Rachelle, Rice said, refused to give the patients the needed diagnostic codes so that they could get reimbursement from their insurance companies, causing the patients to pay over $8,000 out of pocket.
This case originated in the New York State Education Department, Office of Professional Discipline (OPD), as a part of Rachelle’s application for licensure as a psychologist. After conducting its own investigation, OPD referred the case to the DA and assisted throughout the investigation.
“The real victims in this case are Rachelle’s unsuspecting patients who thought they were being treated by a licensed professional,” Rice said. “Unfortunately, they were being strung along by a con artist who built her medical practice on lies and greed.”
Assistant District Attorney April Montgomery of the Economic Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case. Steven DelVecchio, Esq., represents Rachelle.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.