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Psychologist convicted of health care fraud

A local mental health professional has been convicted of healthcare fraud and several other federal charges, the U.S. Departmentof Justice announced.

Brookhaven’s Dr. Allan K. Hearne, a psychologist and owner ofBrookhaven Psychiatry and Psychological Associates, was convictedThursday of conspiracy to defraud the United States, health carefraud, obstructing a federal investigation and making a falsestatement to the Social Security Administration. Hearne could faceup to 75 years in prison and $1.75 million fines and more inrestitution.

A justice department statement released Friday afternoon saidHearne conspired to submit false and misleading patient diagnosisto the Social Security Administration and billed Medicare often,claiming he was providing health services on a weekly basis when inactuality he was seeing the patients only a few times per year. Thestatement said Hearne allegedly submitted more than $1.5 million infalse bills to Medicare and received more than $600,000 in stolengovernment funds.

The statement also lists Brookhaven’s Glenn Smith and ChrisThomas as accomplices. Smith previously pled guilty to making afalse statement relating to health care, and Thomas pled guilty toaccessory after the fact to conspiracy to defraud the UnitedStates. Both men were indicted alongside Hearne in November2008.

Hearne said he has done nothing wrong during the 26 years of hispractice and plans to appeal all convictions.

“With 7,000 clients, I have never had a suicide, homicide,assault or any other major adverse event, so hopefully I havehelped some people over many years,” he said in a voicemailrecording.

When contacted by phone, Hearne went on to say that he hascooperated with authorities during the four-year investigation. Hesaid he testified in court Friday, though he was not required to doso.

“I believe I’ve done a lot of good over the years to help a lotof people,” Hearne said. “Some mistakes could have been made, butthey weren’t like criminal intent.”

Hearne confirmed that Smith and Thomas no longer work in hisoffice.

Sentencing for Hearne is scheduled for Aug. 24 at 9 a.m. infederal court in Jackson.