HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A woman accused of faking her credentials to counsel children in custody cases with the Department of Human Resources has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of deceiving the public.
We first told you about Angel Gieske in February, after a mother contacted us when she lost custody of her children under Gieske's recommendation.
With a little digging we found out the woman who claimed to be doctor Gieske with a license in counseling was no doctor. Up until last fall, Gieske was an approved Medicaid vendor to work with DHR custody cases in 6 counties.
She collected more than $864,000 in Medicaid funds, and cashed in the most money and had the most cases in Lauderdale and Colbert Counties.
DHR has never released the exact number of cases this woman was involved in.
Officials said Gieske was brought in for questioning in Colbert County by Alabama Bureau of Investigation agents, but they held her because of a warrant in Walker County.
Walker County investigators made the arrest after a grand jury indicted her on a theft charge and theft by deception. Walker County's District Attorney said there was one thing that stood out in this case that made him want to pursue it.
"The brazen nature of it, and [that] it affects families," said Walker County DA Bill Adair. "Most of these people are in dire need of services from the state, and people need those who are professional and can help them. This kind of thing can affect families drastically, and it's just a shame."
Gieske will be arraigned in Walker County, and have an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty, then await a trial date.
We are working to get information from Lauderdale and Colbert County officials about any potential legal action against Gieske. As for DHR, a spokesperson said they will not be re-opening cases involving Gieske.
"We feel confident the cases were handled properly because the cases were not decided just by Gieske's recommendations," said the spokesperson.