Child counselor defrauded mental health agency and Sheriff's Office, investigators say

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —

A Seminole County Sheriff's Office employee is accused of running a Medicaid scam.

Syberina Wynn is a civilian child protection investigator, and had a second job working as a counselor for kids.

Investigators said she was working the system.

Wynn hatched a scheme to defraud a counseling agency in Deland while defrauding her primary employer, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office, at the same time.

Barbara Defazzio is president and CEO of Circle of Friends, where Wynn was one of her mental health counselors.

"It's certainly not something that you want to have happen in your agency," Defazzio said.

Wynn billed Medicaid for each child she was supposed to have a private hour-long sessions with each week.

Parents told investigators that she met with their kids in large groups at her home, or at parks. Instead of one-on-one counseling, they danced, ate ice cream and in some instances played card games like Uno.

Court documents show she saw her clients while on the clock at the sheriff's office, even showing up to meetings in uniform.

Investigators said she collected $6,700 in county overtime- and $7,600 in Medicaid pay over eight months that this went on.

"We expect our therapists to be of the highest quality. They're independent so we expect them to be honorable on their own, to monitor their own integrity," Defazzio said.

When that doesn't happen, Defazzio said, it's a big disappointment.

Wynn made about $38,000 a year at the Sheriff's Office.

Wynn is charged with several counts of fraud and one count of larceny.

She was a mental heath counseling intern, but with the charges, there's a good chance she'll never get her license.

Wynn bonded out of jail, and did not respond to phone calls for comment.