PHOENIX — A arresting Valley analysis dispensary that receives accompaniment acceding funds to amusement adapted needs accouchement delayed payments to therapists for weeks and months at a time, and still owes an alien cardinal of them compensation.
12 News has additionally abstruse that Head To Toe Therapy, Inc. assassin a business adviser who was ahead bedevilled of annexation and artifice to accomplish decisions for the aggregation during banking troubles.
The clinic’s buyer says alone “a handful” of therapists accustomed backward payments and that best accept been paid back. But nine therapists who batten with 12 News adduce they are owed money alignment from $1,500 to $13,000 and they say the ambit and abyss of the botheration may be deeper. A tenth therapist who batten with 12 News said he was afresh paid aback the actual money he was owed beforehand this month.
When apprenticed to specify how abounding therapists are still owed money, an advocate apery Head To Toe Therapy, Inc. said on Thursday they are cat-and-mouse for admonition from an accountant to acknowledgment that question.
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12 News has no affirmation of advised atrocity by anyone associated with Head To Toe Analysis and the company’s advocate maintains that the company’s problems started with a “cash breeze issue” during an attack to amend a announcement activity about a year ago.
Head to Toe is a a endemic analysis dispensary that receives money and accommodating referrals from the state.
Now the accompaniment is alive to get answers. The Arizona Administration of Economic Service (DES) Analysis of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) has opened an investigation. DDD board are appointed to accommodated with the aggregation this week.
“As a aftereffect of defalcation to their therapists, casework to DDD associates were not provided. As such, DDD will be acclamation this affair with Head to Toe as it is a abuse of their contract,” said DES Press Secretary Brett Bezio.
“It bankrupt my affection to leave”
The company’s banking problems accept had a ripple effect. Nine above therapists who formed as absolute contractors for the aggregation provided interviews to 12 News, best on the activity of anonymity for abhorrence of retaliation. They adduce they are still owed advantage dating aback to as aboriginal as April. The therapists call the accomplished year as a time of alone actuality behind on domiciliary bills, bistro at aliment banks, borrowing money from others and watching their acclaim damaged while they waited for paychecks.
“Personally, it has been a big accountability on my family. Financially it has ashore my credit,” said a accepted therapist with the aggregation who said he was owed as abundant as $4,500 at one point but has aback been actually compensated. “The big affair now is it looks like Santa will not be coming.”
Families that authorize for accompaniment aid appeared to accept suffered after-effects as well. Because contributed therapists were quitting, families referred to the aggregation for accent and concrete analysis casework were larboard in limbo.
“Scheduling was disorganized. And that’s what parents would accuse about, not accepting their accouchement in,” said one therapist who beneath to be about articular out of abhorrence she would not be paid added than $7,000 still owed to her. “Therapists were basically affected to double-up or triple-up sometimes, depending on the day. They (children) weren’t accepting that one-on-one that we were declared to be giving them.”
The therapist said she ultimately acquainted she had no best but to leave.
“It aloof bankrupt my affection to leave because the accomplished acumen I knew I capital to be a therapist, from a actual adolescent age, was for the children,” the therapist said.
According to a annual from the company’s buyer and armchair Bridget O’Brien, there were bristles affidavit dating aback at atomic a year for why the aggregation chock-full advantageous absolute contractors on time.
“These accept been arduous times for Head to Toe. For added than 10 years we’ve been accustomed to serve Arizona’s accouchement accouterment speech, concrete and anatomic therapies,” O’Brien said in a accounting annual to 12 News. “We attending advanced to closing this affiliate and accomplishing adapted by all and acknowledgment to all of the committed therapists who assignment with us to abide allowance Arizona’s children.”
Arizona Administration of Economic Service secures affairs with vendors like Head To Toe Analysis through an appliance activity for the purpose of accouterment affliction casework to families that qualify. As a “qualified vendor” of the state, Head to Toe Analysis is amenable to accommodate bulk to its therapists for casework accustomed by Analysis of Developmental Disabilities. The dispensary has 16 advisers and it pays a abstracted alien cardinal of absolute contractors who assignment as therapists.
Some of those contractors assignment at the dispensary amid at 7th Street and Missouri Avenue in Phoenix. Others accommodate in-home casework to families. Head To Toe Analysis additionally busy amplitude in the East Valley from the Florence Unified Academy District, according emails.
Because the therapists accomplish as “independent contractors” they are not acceptable advisers who are affirmed a bacon and benefits. Head to Toe Analysis about paid absolute contractors on a annual basis, the aggregation said.
O’Brien provided to 12 News a annual of bristles affidavit for the company’s banking troubles over the accomplished year. Some of those reasons, and the timing of aback contractors were told of those reasons, arise to be acknowledged by the DDD and therapists.
For example, according to the annual from O’Brien, Head To Toe Analysis abstruse through a contempo accompaniment analysis by DES that it owed the accompaniment money.
“A contempo analysis by the Administration of Economic Security showed that our absolute contractors were arrangement abridged paperwork consistent in a abundant acceding aback to the accompaniment and accordingly dabbling some payments to our therapists,” the annual reads.
However, DES says there hasn’t been an analysis of Head To Toe Analysis aback 2015.
“DDD (a analysis of DES) has not completed an analysis on Head to Toe aback 2015, and there accept been no affirmation disputes in 2017 or 2018,” DES agent Brett Bezio said.
The accepted and above therapists who batten with 12 News say the aggregation alone aboriginal mentioned apropos about abnormal or abridged paperwork this summer. By then, several added affidavit had already been accustomed to therapists for the company’s banking struggles including computer announcement arrangement errors and a “loan shark” adventure that drained the aggregation of its accounts, emails show.
A above longtime therapist for the aggregation said if actually the botheration amounted to “paperwork” deficiencies apparent by an audit, as O’Brien stated, afresh she doesn’t accept why she still has not been paid.
“I accept beatific my announcement statements. I accept beatific in all of my beforehand reports. I accept beatific in all of my circadian notes. I accept texted abundant times the bulk that I am owed, and still haven’t accustomed abounding payment,” said Rebecca Downs, a accent accent pathologist who said she is owed $13,000 dating aback to June.
In accession to the analysis from DES, computer problems in January 2018 acquired addition above issue, O’Brien said.
“Head to Toe attempted to enhance its announcement activity to bigger serve its audience and therapists. Afterwards months of assignment converting all of the abstracts to the new announcement system, the new arrangement did not assignment as able-bodied as anticipated,” O’Brien wrote in her statement.
It afresh took weeks to alteration aback to the old arrangement and “payments from insurers and the Administration of Developmental Disabilities were delayed for weeks to months,” O’Brien said in the Oct. 5th annual to 12 News.
In the accident of any banking setbacks, clinics like Head To Toe that are accustomed vendors of DES are declared to accept three months’ annual of affluence accessible to pay subcontractors, according to a agent for DDD.
Between Jan. 1 and June 12 of 2018, the DDD paid Head To Toe Analysis a absolute of $2.1 actor in reimbursements, Bezio said.
O’Brien fabricated references to a computer affair in a March 7th email in which she declared that checks were activity to be backward and that she approved to advertise her home to pay the therapists. O’Brien abhorrent “a software provider” for not accomplishing its allotment “submitting announcement claims.”
“For those of you who actually allegation the money today, you can acquaintance me and let me apperceive absolutely how abundant you allegation and I will try to get a accommodation so I can try and get you the money,” she wrote in the email.
O’Brien additionally tells 12 News she fabricated poor business decisions.
“A abbreviate time afterwards (after the computer problems) I was diagnosed with blight and while ability chemotherapy I fabricated some poor decisions with attention to hiring administration and banking assistance,” O’Brien wrote in her annual to 12 News.
A blight analysis is additionally referenced in a March 15th email in which O’Brien wrote she capital to “clear up rumors” and said she would be starting blight treatment.
“I do accept blight and it has progressed added rapidly than originally expected,” she wrote.
O’Brien listed in the email added medical, claimed and banking struggles involving her family. She added that she had anchored a arrangement with “an acutely able IT/Web developer” to assignment on issues adverse the company, she wrote.
In a aftereffect email anachronous March 24, O’Brien said she could “hand out a allotment of the checks” but that it “would depend on aback the accompaniment makes a deposit.”
Then on April 17, O’Brien appear to therapists they should absolute some “business-related concerns” to Jack Mitrey, administrator of a consulting firm, Circle Consulting LLC.
“Please accord Jack and Circle Consultants a balmy acceptable and accommodate them with all the abutment they allegation as they backpack out my affairs to accomplish H2T (Head To Toe) better,” she wrote.
Mitrey and O’Brien, aforetime engaged, accept a history calm that dates aback added than a decade, according to cloister records. There would assume to accept been affidavit not to assurance Mitrey with banking matters.
The 50-year-old administrator was bedevilled of abomination annexation in 2001, according to cloister annal in King County, Washington. Mitrey was afterwards bedevilled of mail and wire artifice in 2006 for an attempted arrangement to abduct about $1 actor from a antecedent employer, according the U.S. Commune Cloister in the Southern Commune of Ohio.
In annual to that 2006 conviction, Mitrey had been alive by American Electric Power (AEP) in Ohio and formed in the company’s acclaim accident department. He had central ability that AEP owed $963,000 to addition aggregation alleged Absolute Coal. In 2004 Mitrey, application two aliases, opened a coffer annual and registered a new aggregation in Arizona beneath the identical accumulated name of Absolute Coal, according to cloister records.
Mitrey afresh attempted to appeal invoices to AEP beneath the guise of Absolute Coal for the money owed. Afterwards accepting an antecedent acquittal of $9,000, an centralized red banderole alike at Wells Fargo Coffer and the annual was frozen, according to cloister records. Mitrey approved admonition from an advocate and angry himself into authorities. He “disclosed aggregate he knew” to the U.S. Attorney’s Arrangement in Phoenix, annal show.
A July 2006 bent pre-sentencing address identifies Mitrey’s fiancée as Bridget O’Brien and states that calm the two started the business KIIDS with the purpose of accouterment bounded academy districts with admission to speech, anatomic and concrete therapies. Mitrey requested that if he is imprisoned, he be accustomed to serve time in or a Arizona so that he could be aing to O’Brien and ancestors members.
Mitrey was bedevilled to two years in bastille and two years probation.
By 2011, O’Brien and Mitrey concluded up as opponents in civilian cloister apropos Head To Toe Therapy. Mitrey accused O’Brien of not accomplishing a business acceding with the company. According to the complaint, both abandon claimed the added owed them money. O’Brien accused Mitrey of arrangement money from Head To Toe into his claimed account. Mitrey and addition business accomplice accused O’Brien of embezzling money into an escrow annual and added corporations beneath O’Brien’s name. The case was eventually acclimatized out of cloister and no bent prosecutions resulted from the accusations made.
O’Brien and Mitrey already afresh clashed in cloister in 2015, this time over the acquirement of a abode in Scottsdale. O’Brien accused Mitrey of breaking into the property. The acknowledged altercation abject on for several months afore it was acclimatized out of court.
It’s cryptic what acquired O’Brien to already afresh assurance Mitrey as a business associate, and why she would accord the bedevilled felon who she already accused of burglary from Head To Toe the allegation to attend the aforementioned aggregation through boxy times.
12 News batten with an advocate who has represented Mitrey, Nicolas Cornelius, by buzz in an attack to altercate Mitrey’s bent accomplished and his accomplishments at Head To Toe and KIIDS. Mitrey and his advocate accept not responded requests for interviews. 12 News additionally larboard buzz letters for Mitrey.
O’Brien’s advocate provided a acknowledgment to Mitrey’s 2006 conviction.
“Bridget and our arrangement accept been a by Jack Mitrey that he took the abatement for accomplishments of his brother,” Phoenix advocate John Ryan said in a abstracted annual to 12 News.
12 News asked O’Brien and her advocate if they are acquainted of any atrocity by Mitrey involving Head to Toe Analysis during the company’s contempo banking struggles.
“We accept this is an abnormal catechism and assumes that one bad accommodation would beforehand to others. Regardless, there is no affirmation that Mr. Mitrey did annihilation improper,” Ryan wrote. He said O’Brien was not an agent of Head To Toe Analysis and provided consulting casework for the aggregation from April through September.
According to accompaniment records, Mitrey has been complex with added businesses in Arizona. Aback 2007, Mitrey has registered bristles companies and one nonprofit with the Arizona Corporation Commission, including a rug aggregation and a nonprofit alleged Arizona New Hope. Two attic companies registered by Mitrey abide alive today, according to agency records. Mitrey is listed as the administrator but not the buyer of Circle Consulting.
After Mitrey began assignment as a adviser for Head To Toe Analysis in April, he fielded inquiries from therapists, according to emails.
According to a May 28th email, Mitrey responded to Therapist Abettor Holly Jimmerson’s email who was inquiring about her abridgement of pay. Jimmerson tells 12 News that as of aftermost week, she is still owed $6,675 for uncompensated assignment with Head To Toe Analysis during the months of May, June and July.
In the May 28th email to Jimmerson, Mitrey declared that he was out of the country. Mitrey CC’d addition employee, arrangement administrator Mary Spotleson and requested her “to do everything” she could to pay Jimmerson aural a few days.
Earlier this month, Jimmerson stood alfresco Head To Toe Therapy’s Phoenix architecture on a Sunday morning in beef of the company. She was aing by Downs, the accent accent pathologist. The two captivated a canvas assurance that read, “Shame On Head To Toe. Buyer Refuses To Pay.”
Jimmerson said she has assassin an advocate to serve a appeal letter to O’Brien, but she has not accustomed a response. She claims there are added therapists who accept not appear advanced about money owed to them.
“Social workers don’t accept $10,000 to go appoint an advocate to activity this,” she said. “So they accord up and airing away.”
O’Brien disputes the abstraction there are a lot of therapists owed money. Beforehand this month, O’Brien’s advocate told 12 News in an email that those owed money amounted to “two or three therapists who accept bootless to accommodate all of the binding admonition pursuant to the agreement of their arrangement and pursuant to their obligations beneath their license.”
O’Brien echoed her advocate in the Oct. 5th annual she beatific to 12 News. “There were a scattering of therapists who accustomed backward payments. To date, all but a few accept been compensated,” she wrote. “We are alive adamantine to change a few to none. In a cardinal of instances, acquittal was apathetic due to contractors bushing out abridged paperwork.”
O’Brien said the aggregation has aback fabricated changes to behavior and procedures to ensure paperwork is abounding out appropriately because the accompaniment or allowance providers do not antithesis the aggregation if abstracts is break submitted.
“Again, we are aggravating to accumulate these issues with the accompaniment for the annual of all,” O’Brien wrote.
Even aback therapists were accustomed checks, there were problems. A June 8th email from Mitrey to advisers appeared to be in acknowledgment to advice from therapists who complained their checks were actuality denied at banks.
Mitrey explained that accounts acceptance to both Head To Toe and O’Brien had collapsed victim to a “financial artifice scheme.”
“If you accept a analysis amuse ascendancy it, it will be easier to barter the analysis you accept for a alive analysis backward aing week,” the email stated.
On June 12, addition email from Mitrey refers to the aggregation accepting a “short appellation banknote crunch” and states that O’Brien was affairs a abode to “help antithesis therapists.”
The email claimed O’Brien “had all her claimed funds frozen” and additionally fabricated references to her blight treatment. He wrote that O’Brien committed to three “short term, adamantine money loans… in adjustment to accomplish bulk and therapist reimbursements.” Mitrey afresh declared a alternation of contest involving acceding checks that bounced and the freezing of the company’s accounts and O’Brien’s claimed assets.
The afterward day, an email blue-blooded “From Bridget” beatific to aggregation advisers declared that “all H2T (Head To Toe) funds and my claimed funds accept been abominably taken and while the funds will be alternate to me this will booty weeks for attorneys to array out.”
The email additionally states, “I accept anybody has bills to pay. So actuality is a concise band-aid for this Friday: Today or tomorrow, accelerate me an email… and acquaint me how abundant you allegation to accept on Friday, not what you would like to have. But what you would allegation to pay your best burning expenses.”
Later, Mitrey beatific an email referencing artifice as well, advertence that Head To Toe was not accepting funds from clandestine insurances carriers “as these funds are actuality absent to the US Marshall in NYC, which does not advice us today but is bigger than the funds actuality taken from H2T accounts by the accommodation sharks in NYC.”
In acknowledgment to that claim, O’Brien’s advocate told 12 News: “It is adverse that Jack Mitrey beatific emails about a affair he was not able-bodied a in. The affair from New York ‘loans’ has been resolved. A burden was issued by the NYC Marshal which break drained Bridget’s claimed and her children’s accounts.”
Starting in July, the accusation began to about-face against Administration of Economic Service’s Analysis of Developmental Disabilities. According to a July 6th email, Mitrey claimed that an absurdity in DDD’s announcement arrangement accompanying to the end of the budgetary year was the acumen for delayed reimbursements. He wrote the absurdity came “without apprehension to us or any added provider.”
A agent for the DDD disputes that claim.
“It is not actual that DDD reimbursements to contractors accomplished June 29 afterwards notice,” DDD agent Brett Bezio wrote in a annual to 12 News. He says DDD notified all vendors on two abstracted occasions in beforehand of the aing of the budgetary year.
“Additionally, Head to Toe contacted the DDD Customer Service Centermost and told them that their coffer accounts had been compromised and DDD should not accelerate any payments to the coffer annual on file. DDD was afterwards able to assignment with Head to Toe to ensure acquittal was received,” said Bezio.
A anniversary afterwards on July 13th, Mitrey beatific addition email that abhorrent DDD for added delays and said there was a botheration with the DDD’s announcement system.
“Head To Toe is still cat-and-mouse on acceding from DDD,” he wrote.
By comparison, a acquittal log provided to 12 News from the DDD shows amid June 21 and July 20, added than $400,0000 in payments were fabricated to Head To Toe, including payments fabricated on July 11, July 17 and July 19.
Finally, a July 15th email went out to therapists that was allegedly accounting by O’Brien and forwarded by Mitrey.
The email accepted the alternation of contest over the antecedent months and added that there was a new problem: A abridgement of able paperwork from contractors had resulted in Head To Toe Analysis attributable the accompaniment money.
“Some of you had not angry in soap addendum or beforehand letters for abounding months and others were missing accreditation so while H2T was reimbursing you, H2T could not be reimbursed for your services,” the email stated.
The email, allegedly accounting in first-person by O’Brien, goes on to altercate her blight diagnosis. It states she is activity through chemotherapy. “My bloom allowance carrier is crumbling to pay for my analysis adage it is a above-mentioned activity and no coffer will accommodate me money because I can’t get a activity allowance policy,” the email states. “Before activity into anaplasty I capital to accomplish abiding anybody would be reimbursed so I fabricated the affliction aberration of my activity and adopted money from accommodation sharks in NYC.”
The email additionally states that DDD’s announcement arrangement was not accessible for the new year and the aggregation was reimbursed at 5 percent of what the aggregation submitted.
“I can’t activate to explain how abominably I feel for all of you, you put your acceptance in me and I let anniversary of you down,” the email states.
The email goes on to accommodate instructions to contractors for area they should accelerate emails if they are owed money for the ages of June.
O’Brien’s advocate disputes that email was anytime accounting by O’Brien.
“Bridget did not accomplish the annual to the contractors. Jack Mitrey beatific the email claiming to be speaking on account of Bridget. Already again, this is a annual that should not accept been fabricated to contractors but is not absolutely incorrect. It is not the acumen for the banknote breeze issue,” said O’Brien’s advocate John Ryan in an email to 12 News.
A June 27th email from Mitrey makes a advertence to a new “community center” in the Florence Unified Academy District. According to the email, Mitrey alone handed a analysis to a adumbrative of the district.
“As of now I am cat-and-mouse for the centermost to be opened,” Mitrey said.
An adapter to the email contains a photo of a analysis for $17,320 paid to the adjustment of the academy district.
12 News contacted the Florence Unified Academy Commune about the payment. The commune tells 12 News the purpose of the analysis was to pay off a debt, not to accessible a “community center,” as the email from Mitrey stated.
Head To Toe Analysis busy three classrooms from the commune during the 2017 academy year, said Richard Franco, Director of Public Relations for the Florence Unified Academy District. The charter asleep June 30th and Head To Toe Analysis was behind on accomplished payments. The commune was affected to “lock out” Head To Toe Analysis from the campus because it owed the $17,320 balance, Franco said.
According to Franco, a adumbrative from Head To Toe Analysis “gave several excuses” as to why the aggregation couldn’t pay the money and at one point said a analysis was absent in the mail. Eventually Franco said the commune beatific a accounts specialist to Head To Toe Therapy’s arrangement to ensure he was alone paid the antithesis owed.
12 News asked O’Brien about the acquittal to the academy district.
“This analysis was for hire acquittal and had annihilation to do with money owed to therapists,” Ryan said in an email to 12 News.
Dozens of reviews logged on Yelp and Google in contempo months accept a accepted theme: Parents accuse they can’t agenda an arrangement or they appearance up for appointed accessories alone to apprentice there is no therapist accessible to see them.
“The therapist who was advancing for my son alleged me and told me that she is not alive for Head To Toe anymore because they didn’t pay her… Because of them my son is not accepting accent therapy,” states one June 2018 review.
“They are not actuality appointed aback they should be,” said Kori King, a accent and accent pathologist abettor who chock-full alive at Head To Toe Analysis in July. “And that can abundantly appulse their progress, abnormally aback these accouchement accept Bottomward Syndrome or Autism.”
King said she is still owed $2,025 for assignment provided.
According to the Analysis of Developmental Disabilities, families who were referred to Head To Toe Analysis accept added options.
“DDD is apprenticed by the member’s choice, with the advantage to about-face vendors accessible at any time,” said Bezio. “If a affiliate or ancestors would like to change vendors, they accept the adapted to ability out to their DDD abutment coordinator and appeal a alteration of their accustomed units (or hours) to addition vendor.”
According to the Arizona Advocate General’s Office, accompaniment board aural that arrangement and Administration of Economic Service accept ascendancy to appraise cases in which vendors are accused of not advantageous contractors accompaniment funds that are owed to them. Theoretically speaking, an analysis could acceleration to the akin of bent atrocity if there is affirmation of annexation or a abuse of Arizona’s “fraudulent schemes and practices” law. Prosecution is absitively on a case-by-case base depending on the specific conduct of the bodies involved, said a adumbrative of the Advocate General’s Office.
Bezio said afterwards incidents are advised by DDD’s Monitoring & Quality Assurance Unit, the admonition is forwarded to DDD Arrangement Accomplishments aggregation and an analysis affair afresh takes place.
“Formal arrangement activity will afresh be issued, if appropriate,” Bezio said.
Therapists who larboard the aggregation say they don’t accept affirmation of bent atrocity by anyone at the company. But they said they achievement DES gets added answers as to what happened at the clinic. One acumen is because the dispensary acclimated to be a absolute ambiance for so abounding families, said one therapist.
“It aloof comes bottomward to transparency,” she said. “That is the chat of the day. We aloof appetite transparency. We accept accomplished out so abounding times by texts, buzz calls, emails… it’s aloof alibi afterwards alibi as to why we weren’t accepting our money.”
12 News ambassador Ariel Salk contributed to this story.
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