Therapist allegedly took advantage of grieving widow for $90K loan

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When 86-year-old Anita Starer’s husband died a number of years ago, she sought out the services of a clinical psychologist to help her through the grieving process.

She chose Dr. Eve Richer, a psychologist practicing on Long Island. Now, Starer said she feels Richer used her and betrayed her.

After going to her for counseling for awhile, Starer said Richer seemed upset and told her that Medicare wanted the psychologist to pay back $75,000 for the last year, claiming she was not entitled to what she had received.

PIX11 News' Arnold Diaz confronts Dr. Eve Richer, accused of taking advantage of a grieving widow seeking help through the grieving process for more than $100,000.

PIX11 News' Arnold Diaz confronts Dr. Eve Richer, accused of taking advantage of a grieving widow seeking help through the grieving process for more than $100,000.

Starer said she offered to take out a home equity loan and give $75,000 of it to Richer to pay Medicare.

“She did mention it wasn’t ethical,” Starer said, “but then she said, 'I’ll pay you back every penny.' That is what she kept on telling me, that she would pay back every penny."

But Starer said Richer paid back very little of the money. In fact, she said, the psychologist asked Starer for another loan of $15,000, which she gave her.

Again, Starer said Richer did not pay her back and soon she could no longer reach the psychologist.

"The phone was suddenly out of service. The office was closed”, said Starer, who then sued Richer.

Richer did not show up in court and Starer was awarded two judgments for the two loans plus interest, totaling $128,000. When Starer couldn’t find the doctor to collect on the judgments, she hired a private detective agency, Osborn Investigation, which tracked down Richer. They made an appointment to see the psychologist as a client, arranging to meet on a bench outside the Wantagh Long Island Library.

That’s when PIX11 News stepped in. We told Richer we were there on behalf of Starer.

“You owe her a lot of money. You have a judgment against you for over $100,000. Is it ethical for you to be taking loans from a client?” I asked her.

Richer denied having asked Starer for any money, but we showed her the checks, with her endorsement on the back. She said she had another side of the story, but wouldn’t tell me what it was.

Our investigation also uncovered the fact that while Richer is a New York State licensed psychologist, she is not registered to practice. Her registration expired in October 2015 and has not been renewed. But when I asked her about it , her only comment was “Bull----.”

Starer is hoping the private investigators can uncover some assets Richer might have to pay off the judgments.