The manager of a Palo Alto dental office convicted of faking an insurance claim and pocketing more than $3,000 was sentenced this week to 45 days in county jail, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.
Veronica Rivas, 39, of Fremont, was sentenced Nov. 13. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Shelyna Brown also gave Rivas three years of probation, and ordered her to pay $3,223.50 in restitution.
In early 2009, Rivas submitted fraudulent insurance claims to a dental insurance provider for orthodontic treatments for her husband and son. The procedures were never performed. When the insurance claim was paid into the dentist's account, Rivas then forged the dentist's signature on the 'patient refund' check. Rivas made the check payable to her husband. The dentist discovered the fraud and reported it to Palo Alto police.
"It may be tempting to try and cash out 'unused' insurance benefits, but it is a crime to submit false insurance claims for procedures which were never performed. Insurance fraud impacts everyone by causing insurance rates to go up," said Deputy District Attorney Denise Raabe of the Health Insurance Fraud Unit.