An unlicensed Winona therapist cited earlier by the state of Minnesota for an unprofessional romantic relationship has been charged along with her adult daughter with collecting nearly $200,000 through false claims made under the government-funded Medicaid program.
Kristine A. Hollund, 53, was charged Monday in Winona County District Court with six counts of aiding and abetting theft by swindle in connection with the scheme that spanned from April 2016 to January 2019.
Her daughter, 34-year-old Brittany A. Lindner, also of Winona, allegedly handled the fraudulent billing and was charged with the same counts.
Hollund and Lindner were charged by summons and are due in court on March 29. Court records do not list attorneys for the women. Messages were left with both defendants Wednesday seeking responses to the allegations. An investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the state Attorney General's Office says that Hollund's Athena Counseling Services submitted bills more than 1,000 times for services that were not provided or were fraudulent in some other manner, with Lindner making the submissions to various insurers that totaled $192,433.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield's share of $116,546 made it the most victimized among the insurers, according to the charges. Others included Aetna, UCare, the state Department of Human Services, Medica and Preferred One.
In October 2016, Hollund had her license as a professional clinical counselor suspended for three years by the state Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. The suspension order, agreed to by Hollund, was for lying to the board during its investigation that found she had a sexual relationship with a man who had received counseling from her along with his wife and children in their family.
Hollund, whose last name was Radloff at the time, acknowledged that while her relationship with the man she would eventually marry started after she was no longer counseling him, it began before the legally required two years had passed.
Despite her suspension, Hollund either went ahead and provided services anyway or contracted with one or more therapists to do so, the charges read.
In December 2019, the board was notified of the fraudulent billing allegations against Hollund. She met with board representatives in August 2020 and "admitted that some client documentation and billing contained discrepancies [and] had worked with" one insurer to resolve the conflicts, according to board documents.
As of Wednesday, Hollund was not licensed as a professional clinical counselor.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482