For release on November 15, 2013   CONTACT: Denise Raabe Health Insurance Fraud Unit (408) 792-2549   OFFICE MANAGER SENTENCED FOR HEALTH CARE FRAUD   A manager of a Palo Alto dental office was sentenced this week to 45 days in county jail after being convicted of faking an insurance claim, and pocketing more than $3,000.   Veronica Rivas, 39, of Fremont, was sentenced Wednesday by the Hon. Shelyna Brown. Rivas also received three years of probation, and was ordered to pay $3,223.50 in restitution.   “It may be tempting to try and cash out ‘unused’ insurance benefits,” said Deputy District Attorney Denise Raabe, of the Health Insurance Fraud Unit, “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.”   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.   ###

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