Psychologist's Fraud Arrest May Affect Trials He Testified In

Matthew Leddy, a local psychologist, was arrested late last month for theft and Medicaid fraud, accused of billing for work that he didn't perform, according to articles in the Houston Chronicle and the Conroe Courier.

The articles don't mention, however, that Leddy was working for the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County and testified in criminal trials that resulted in at least one man getting a lengthy prison sentence.

We've written about two cases in the last year where Leddy examined the defendant and testified. In one case, he ruled that Alexander Hatcher, a man diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic who was originally arrested for criminal mischief, was competent to stand trial. A jury later sentenced Hatcher to 53 years in prison.

According to the clerk in Judge Susan Brown's court, which tried Hatcher's case, the state filed a brief in March on his appeal case, which is still pending. His appellate attorney, Leah Borg, wasn't available for comment, but his original court-appointed defender, Mark Hochglaube, said Leddy's arrest creates the potential for a re-trial.

The allegations against Leddy -- from the state's Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit -- date back as early as 2003 when he had a private practice, before he worked for MHMRA. According to the Courier article, however, the latest charge is from November 2007, several months after Leddy examined Hatcher.

It's unclear why Leddy left his private practice and started working for MHMRA, and a representative from the agency wasn't available for clarification. Leddy's attorney, Philip Hilder, didn't know exactly when Leddy started with MHMRA,  but says none of the alleged crimes happened during his time there. Hilder added that the arrest should have no bearing on any testimoney Leddy has given.

"We maintain that he's innocent of the charges, and we intend to prove that," Hilder tells Hair Balls. "We think that the government's charges are reckless."

As soon as we hear more on the case, we'll be sure to update.

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