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Augusta mental health agency abruptly closes after 'credible allegations' of fraud

Fullcircle Supports had about 100 employees and rented space in Augusta's Ballard Center

AUGUSTA (WGME) - A mental health agency in central Maine is under investigation after an allegation of fraud.

Hundreds of clients with mental illness lost their services after the agency abruptly shut down last week.

About 300 people with mental illness got daily living support services from the Augusta-based agency Fullcircle Supports.

CBS 13 confirms that agency closed last week after the state cut off funding and ended its agreement with the agency.

"Based on credible allegations of fraud the Department was federally required to suspend payment to Fullcircle Supports," said Samantha Edwards, spokeswoman for DHHS.

The agency had about a hundred employees and rented space in Augusta's Ballard Center.

Former employees, who declined to be interviewed on camera, told CBS 13 they helped with things like shopping and taking clients to doctors' appointments and are concerned about the clients.

Jenna Mehnert with the National Alliance on Mental Illness Maine said she's concerned, too.

"There's not really a transition time, which I think any of us could understand that when we rely on a service provider, the importance of a smooth transition is really critical," Mehnert said.

Edwards said because of the investigation, she couldn't provide any more details about the allegation.

She said DHHS is working to help clients transition to other local providers.

One of the owners of Fullcircle Supports told us he's not ready to talk about the allegation of fraud, but he said it's based on speculation.

If you or someone you know needs support services, NAMI Maine can be reached at 1-800-464-5767.

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