Mass. Woman’s Doc Scam Ended

October 8, 2005

A Hull, Massachusetts woman has been indicted on charges she practiced for years as an unlicensed psychologist whose patients were primarily children, Attorney General Tom Reilly announced.

Louise Wightman, also known as Lucy Wightman, 46, was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury on six counts each of filing false health care claims and insurance fraud and 26 counts of larceny over $250. She was also indicted on one count of practicing psychology without a license. She has been summonsed to court for arraignment on Oct. 20, 2005.

Massachusetts state law requires that psychologists possess a doctoral degree in psychology from a doctoral program recognized by the state and that they be licensed with the state Division of Professional Licensure. Wightman has reportedly never applied for or received a license to practice as a psychologist in Massachusetts.

Wightman received a bachelor of arts degree from Emerson College in 1985 and obtained a masters degree in counseling psychology from Lesley University in 1996.

The indictments allege that Wightman has not received a doctoral degree in psychology as is required by state law. Wightman allegedly paid $1,299 to receive a doctorate degree in psychology from Republic of Dominica-based Concordia College & University, an online institution that is not recognized by the state of Massachusetts.

Wightman formed South Shore Psychology Associates more than five years ago with a former schoolmate and Wightman held 99 percent interest in the company. There Wightman allegedly developed a patient base and leased office space to other practitioners.

The investigation found that since 1998, Wightman allegedly met with patients, most of whom were children under the age of 18. Her patient base allegedly focused on school-aged children and teenage girls with eating disorders but Wightman also allegedly saw adult patients and also performed marriage counseling for couples.

The indictments allege that Wightman helped some patients obtain reimbursement for her services from six different health insurance providers by fraudulently representing herself as a psychologist and possessing a doctorate in psychology.

The indictments further allege that Wightman stole money from 26 patients and their families by enlisting them to sign on as patients under the false belief that she was a psychologist and had a doctorate.

As a result of this investigation, Wightman is no longer practicing as a psychologist. She currently maintains a practice in psychotherapy, however, that field does not require a license in Massachusetts.

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