Fake online therapist tricked hundreds of patients

A social worker named Peggy Randolph, who was licensed to provide therapy in Florida and Tennessee, is under investigation for allowing her unlicensed wife, Tammy Heath-Randolph, to impersonate her in online therapy sessions for nearly two years. The deception was uncovered after Tammy Heath-Randolph’s death in February 2023.

Authorities in both states have accused Peggy Randolph of knowingly defrauding hundreds of patients. Although Peggy Randolph denies knowing that her wife was treating patients under her account, authorities claim that Tammy Heath-Randolph was getting paid for the sessions she conducted.

The ruse came to light after an internal investigation by Brightside Health, the platform through which Peggy Randolph was providing therapy, found that she had shared her login credentials with her wife. Peggy Randolph retired her license in August 2023, and as a result, the investigation against her was dropped.

Peggy Randolph worked for Brightside Health from January 2021 to February 2023, during which time she was supposedly providing therapy to hundreds of clients. Authorities believe that Peggy Randolph carried out the ruse so that she could see other patients in person.

In addition to losing her license to practice, Peggy Randolph was also ordered to pay a $1,000 penalty. Brightside Health, the company that employed Peggy Randolph, refunded all impacted patients and reported the incident to state licensing authorities as soon as they learned of the allegations.

The case only became public recently after Florida and Tennessee released documents related to Peggy Randolph’s conduct in May. Hannah Changi, a spokesperson for Brightside, expressed disappointment that a provider was willing to violate the trust placed in them by their patients. The exact number of patients impacted is not known due to the nature of the incident and ongoing legal proceedings.

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