Menlo Park: Twin sisters charged with defrauding county


A pair of Menlo Park psychologists are accused of bilking San Mateo County out of thousands of dollars by charging for therapy sessions that never happened, prosecutors said.

Lorie Palmer and Marlie Palmer, 39-year-old twin sisters who both work as bilingual psychologists, were on a referral list with the county to provide therapy to victims of violent crime.

But over two years working with the county, the Palmers submitted bills for payment for sessions they allegedly weren't actually conducting. Marie Palmer overbilled the county for $27,136, and Lorie Palmer overcharged $27,648, according to prosecutors.

They both appeared in court Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges of misappropriation of public money and grand theft. They were ordered to return to court on July 27 and each remains free on $100,000 bail, prosecutors said.

Marlie Palmer offers therapy for depression, stress, anxiety and coping with trauma and abuse, among other things, according to her website.

"My work includes helping people whose lives are being taken over by worry, those who are self-critical, procrastinators, people struggling with compulsive behavior, and those who face recurring difficulties in relationships," she wrote.

They were ordered by the court to report the case against them to the state licensing board within a week, according to prosecutors.

Both sisters live in San Francisco and attended University of San Francisco, according to their websites.

— Bay City News Service

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