Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Spouse Convicted of Theft

April 17, 2009

For Immediate Release Contact: Michael Miller
April 17, 2009 (207) 626-8891

LICENSED ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELOR AND SPOUSE CONVICTED OF THEFT

Attorney General Janet T. Mills announced today that licensed alcohol and drug counselor David A. McFarland and his spouse, Mary A. McFarland pleaded guilty to charges of theft by deception from the MaineCare Program and from the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation.

“It is unacceptable for any healthcare providers to unethically charge or overcharge the State of Maine for services that were not provided to MaineCare consumers, “ said Attorney General Mills. “The Office of the Attorney General will investigate any evidence of wrongful MaineCare charges, and will continue to seek jail time for those convicted of theft from state programs.”

David McFarland was President and Administrator of Alternate Choices Counseling Services, Inc., a licensed substance abuse treatment agency that provided substance abuse treatment services to MaineCare program recipients during January 2001 through November 2004 in Rockland, Waldoboro, and Belfast. During that period, Mr. McFarland submitted false claims for reimbursement to MaineCare which were then paid. The false claims included billing MaineCare for substance abuse treatment services for an hour and a half when the services actually rendered were only for 45-50 minutes and billing for services that were not rendered at all.

In March 2004, ACCS and Mr.McFarland were terminated from the MaineCare program due to the involvement of Mary McFarland with the agency. Mrs. McFarland had been banned since 1997 from participating in MaineCare, Medicare and other programs. On April 9, 2004, Mrs. McFarland represented to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services that she had resigned and would “no longer be associated with the agency on any level or at any capacity.” Based upon this representation, ACCS and Mr. McFarland were again allowed to participate in the MaineCare program. Following her purported resignation, Mrs. McFarland continued to perform many of her former responsibilities at ACCS from the McFarland’s home. Mrs. McFarland then applied for unemployment compensation benefits based upon “lack of work,” and Mr. McFarland verified this alleged “lack of work.” Mrs. McFarland then collected unemployment benefits in violation of the law.

In Knox County Superior Court actions, David McFarland was sentenced today to nine months imprisonment for Theft by Deception (Class B), and 300 hours of community service for Theft by Deception (Class D). Mary McFarland was sentenced to three years imprisonment, all suspended, and three years of probation with conditions for Class B Theft by Deception, and 400 hours of community service for Class D Theft by Deception.

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