Thousand Oaks Patrol deputies were dispatched to a report of fraudulent prescription activity in Newbury Park. The investigating deputy learned that Kristina Vargas worked in a dental office and had fraudulently used a dentist’s information to obtain Carisoprodol (also known as Soma) for herself on 11 separate occasions dating back to September of 2018. Once the initial information was obtained, the investigating deputy contacted the Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit for assistance. Detectives gathered evidence and conducted multiple interviews confirmed the fraudulent prescriptions.
On December 31, 2019, Vargas was located and arrested in Newbury Park for 11173(a) HS – obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, 470(b) PC –forgery and 459 PC – commercial burglary. Vargas was interviewed and then booked into custody at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura. Vargas bailed out of custody and her next court date is set for January 17, 2020 for her arraignment.
Prosperident’s Hall of Shame is the place where we profile embezzlers and some of their antics.
Understandably, some of the people profiled there would be happier if we removed them from our website. Occasionally, we receive a genuine request for removal, but many of the removal requests involve the embezzler or someone close to them doing what they do best — lying to us about why the content should be removed. (For a particularly hilarious example of someone trying this, please click HERE.)
We recently received another good one. We have profiled someone named Hector Ramos of Murrieta, CA, who was arraigned in 2017 for allegedly embezzling $800,000 from a not-for-profit health organization in California.
Today we were contacted by someone who gave their name as John Aberdeen. Initially this person claimed to be a journalist owning the copyright for a story we posted about Hector Ramos. (click HERE for our original story).
We reviewed our content. Our initial story was taken (with proper attribution, of course) from a California newspaper, but the author was listed as “Teri Figeroa,”not John Aberdeen, and we could not find any record of a John Aberdeen at that newspaper, or any other paper in California. Neither the phone number nor email address provided by Mr. “Aberdeen” checked out. Also, this person’s poor grammar and apparent slow typing speed made it unlikely that he was the author of the article.
So, we didn’t take down our content, as we had promised Mr. “Aberdeen.” Instead we rewrote it and added a bit of information.
Mr. Aberdeen quickly contacted us again through our website, but now his story changed and he claimed to be a member of Mr. Ramos’ legal team. When our customer service representative challenged him on this assertion, his story changed yet again, and he told us we would hear from his lawyers (interesting, when he had just claimed to be one).
The transcript of our online chat, reproduced below, makes for entertaining reading.
john aberdeen 9:09 AM joined the chat (Prosperident Staffer) 9:09 AM joined the chat (Prosperident Staffer) 9:10 AM Good morning john aberdeen 9:10 AM Good Morning (Prosperident Staffer) 9:10 AM How can we help you today? john aberdeen 9:10 AM Can you connect me with your technical team. (Prosperident Staffer) 9:11 AM Certainly. Are you a dentist? john aberdeen 9:11 AM No (Prosperident Staffer) 9:12 AM Ok. If you tell me how we can help, I can connect you with the right person here. john aberdeen 9:14 AM I found my copy righted work on your website you need to remove content on immediate basis. (Prosperident Staffer) 9:15 AM I’m sorry about that. We will correct it right now. Do you have a URL or other information so that I can find the right page? john aberdeen 9:16 AMhttps://www.prosperident.com/head-of-it-department-accused-of-embezzling-800k-from-california-non-profit-clinic/ original url https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-nonprofit-theft-charges-20171201-story.html (Prosperident Staffer) 9:16 AM Thanks for letting me know. I’ll have it removed within the next hour, and I’ll email you when it is done. john aberdeen 9:17 AM ok thank you (Prosperident Staffer) 9:17 AM Is there anything else we can help with? john aberdeen 9:18 AM no thank you (Prosperident Staffer) 9:19 AM Have a good day, Mr. Aberdeen
Second contact: john aberdeen 9:59 AM joined the chat john aberdeen 10:00 AM Hi (Prosperident Staffer) 10:00 AM joined the chat john aberdeen 10:00 AM This side john aberdeen (Prosperident Staffer) 10:01 AM Hi Mr. Aberdeen john aberdeen 10:01 AM i sanded you request to remove the content but your team update the content https://www.prosperident.com/head-of-it-department-accused-of-embezzling-800k-from-california-non-profit-clinic/ (Prosperident Staffer) 10:01 AM Yes we did. john aberdeen 10:01 AM why (Prosperident Staffer) 10:02 AM We updated it to remove copyrighted information. john aberdeen 10:02 AM I think you not understand (Prosperident Staffer) 10:02 AM I think you’re right. It doesn’t look like you actually own the copyright on this information. And I’m pretty sure you’re not a journalist. So what’s the real issue? john aberdeen 10:03 AM i am not a journalist i am legal team (Prosperident Staffer) 10:03 AM I see. john aberdeen 10:04 AM your admin copy our website content we not authorized you to use our content. (Prosperident Staffer) 10:04 AM That’s interesting, because the first time you contacted us, you indicated that you owned the copyright. What is “our content”? What law firm are you with? I deal with attorneys on a daily basis, and I’m pretty sure you are not one. john aberdeen 10:08 AM if you think then we go legal you don’t worry (Prosperident Staffer) 10:09 AM We look forward to hearing from your lawyers. We will have a wonderful discussion with him about the First Amendment.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three Northern California residents were sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. for crimes relating to their involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
Surjit Singh, 72, of Dublin, was sentenced to 11 years and three
months in prison, his son, Rajeshwar Singh, 44, of Pleasanton, was
sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison on four counts of mail
fraud, four counts of bank fraud, and four counts of false statements on
loan and credit applications. Anita Sharma, 56, of Gilroy, was
sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison on two counts of mail
fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and two counts of false statements on
loan and credit applications. Surjit Singh was ordered to pay a $2
million fine, $698,787 in restitution, and $847,000 in forfeiture. Raj
Singh was ordered to pay a $1 million fine, $928,287 in restitution, and
$838,399 in forfeiture. Anita Sharma was ordered to pay $603,180 in
restitution and $30,000 in forfeiture.
According to court documents, in 2006 and 2007, Surjit Singh
recruited individuals with good credit to act as straw buyers for
residential properties owned by his family members and associates.
Rajeshwar Singh, a licensed real estate agent, assisted in the scheme by
submitting loan applications for the straw buyers. Anita Sharma, a
dental assistant at the time, was one of the straw buyers. Because
Sharma and the other straw buyers could not afford the homes based on
their true incomes, the Singhs submitted fraudulent loan applications
and supporting material to lending institutions that included false
statements about the straw buyers’ income, employment, liabilities, and
intent to occupy the homes as their primary residences.
At least 14 properties were involved in the scheme. Anita Sharma
alone purchased five homes in San Jose, San Ramon, Elk Grove,
Sacramento, and Modesto. Other straw buyers purchased or refinanced
properties in Stockton, Modesto, Patterson, Lathrop and Tracy. All of
these homes were ultimately either foreclosed upon or sold in a
short sale where the bank lets homeowners sell their homes for less than
is owed on the mortgage.
Sharma was paid for her involvement in the scheme. Rajeshwar Singh
received financial benefits through broker commissions for the
transactions and as the seller of seven of the properties. He also
continued to occupy the San Ramon property at a time when Anita Sharma
should have been living there. Surjit Singh benefitted through payments
out of escrow directed to shell companies, such as SJR Investments and
BK Investments, which were associated with his daughter and significant
other, whose initials are SJR and BK respectively. These payments were
purportedly for contracting services, which did not occur. He also
benefitted through rental payments made to him and his significant other
by the renters of the homes, as the straw buyers were not living in the
homes. In addition, many of his family members received money by
selling properties and had money directed to them out of escrow.
According to court documents and evidence produced at trial, the
defendants were responsible for the origination of more than $9.3
million in fraudulently procured residential mortgage loans.
Surjit Singh is in custody. Rajeshwar Singh and Anita Sharma are scheduled to self‑surrender on January 9, 2019.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A woman is facing multiple fraud charges accused of a scheme while working at a dental office.
Investigators say Karla Morales and her husband Raymundo filed nearly 80 fraudulent insurance claims while she worked for Delano Family Dentistry.
The dentistry confirmed she was fired in March.
Court documents say Morales forged the claims while making the reimbursements payable to her husband.
The couple allegedly made nearly $47,000.
Morales pleaded not guilty to all charges Thursday.
Content retrieved from https://www.kget.com/news/local-news/woman-pleads-not-guilty-in-alleged-insurance-fraud-scheme/1343548405
Prosperident note — there is a Raymond Morales, formerly of Delano, CA, with date of birth June 25, 1956, who is a registered sex offender. We wonder if this is the same Raymondo Morales named in the article.
North County Health Services, is suing this man, Hector Ramos, for allegedly embezzling $800,000 from the organization.
North County Health Services provides health care, including dentistry, to low-income residents of California.
Mr. Ramos, who was residing in Murrieta, CA at the time, has also been charged with a number of criminal offenses. Bail was set at $1 million, with an additional stipulation that if posted, that proof of the legitimacy of the source of bail funds be provided.
Mr. Ramos allegedly created two fraudulent corporations that invoiced North County Health Services for purchases of computer hardware. Instead, it is alleged that funds were used to pay for trips, clothing, and a large payment to a Porsche dealership.
Mr. Ramos’s biographical information from a North county Health Services PowerPoint presentation indicates that he has been with the organization since 2014, has two graduate degrees, and speaks four languages.
Mr. Ramos has been arraigned and has pled not guilty to 49 charges.
A dentist pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges alleging that she performed unnecessary work on several patients in Daly City and then altered a judge’s order and stole someone’s identity to seek other dental jobs during her pending court case, San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Amishi Patel, 43, was a part-time dentist at Campus Heights Dental Care in Daly City, where she performed unnecessary dental work on at least eight patients between April 2014 and May 2015, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The case came to light when the family of a patient contacted the Dental Board of California, which contacted the state Department of Insurance, which contacted the district attorney’s office about the alleged insurance fraud, Wagstaffe said.
Among the patients was a 16-year-old girl who Patel recommended receive 16 fillings. Patel performed eight of the fillings before the girl’s father became suspicious and took her for a second opinion, prosecutors said.
Three subsequent dentists determined the girl had no signs of cavities, did not need any fillings and said the eight fillings from Patel were so poorly performed that they needed to be replaced, prosecutors said.
Patel was charged this February for the cases in Daly City and a judge ordered her not to practice dentistry as a condition of her release on bail, but investigators eventually learned she had altered the order to make it appear that it had been rescinded days later, prosecutors said.
She used the altered order to get temporary employment as a dentist in Fremont, where she treated four patients.
Patel also called another dentist with a name similar to hers, pretending to be from a dental insurance company, and obtained the dentist’s license number that she then used to apply for several dental jobs in Fremont, including an interview attended by an undercover officer, prosecutors said.
Those cases took place between June and July of this year, Wagstaffe said.
Patel pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony insurance fraud, assault, identity theft and forgery on the condition that she receive a sentence of up to a year in county jail and a referral to mental health court, according to the district attorney’s office.
“She got a very light sentence,” Wagstaffe said of the plea deal, adding that San Mateo County Superior Court Donald Ayoob “had leniency for her because he thinks there are mental issues there.”
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of up to five years in state prison for Patel.
“We think the only mental issue is she’s a fraud,” Wagstaffe said.
The case will return to court on Jan. 12 for an intake conference for the mental health court and to set a sentencing date.
Patel’s defense attorney Jonathan McDougall was not immediately available for comment on the case.
RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA — A Los Angeles-area dentist accused of conspiring to torch his Corona office to collect property insurance payouts is facing more than a dozen felony charges. Dr. Armen Shaant Megerdichian, 51, of Winnetka was arrested Monday and arraigned on 13 felony counts, including filing false insurance claims, concealing facts in the process of filing a claim and grand theft.
Megerdichian pleaded not guilty before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Emma Smith, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for July 11 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The doctor posted a $600,000 bond and was released from the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside on Monday afternoon.
Megerdichian’s alleged co-conspirator, Jonas Borsca Jr. of Riverside, was arrested and charged last month with filing a fraudulent insurance claim and knowingly preparing a false claim Borsca posted a $35,000 bond and was released from custody prior to his scheduled arraignment.
Another defendant, 57-year-old Cornel Lucaci of Corona, is charged separately with arson, burglary, filing false insurance claims, grand theft, forgery and identity theft.
Lucaci is being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. He’s scheduled to make a pretrial appearance Wednesday at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The defendants allegedly orchestrated an arson at the Parkridge Dental Spa on Parkridge Avenue in March 2014. The business not only offered dental services, but also therapeutic cosmetic treatments.
The total sum of insurance payments disbursed after the fire was unclear.
Corona Fire Department arson investigators turned up clues that the blaze had been intentionally set, but gathering and processing evidence to justify charges in the case took four years, authorities said.
According to the Dental Board of California, Megerdichian has an active license to practice dentistry. He has no documented prior felony convictions.
Borsca and Lucaci also have no documented priors in Riverside County.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A former office manager at a Beverly Hills dental
office was sentenced today to 180 days in county jail for insurance fraud.
Claudia Ventura, 40, also was ordered to complete 200 hours of community
service and five years of formal probation, according to the Los Angeles
County District Attorney’s Office.
Ventura pleaded no contest April 10 to two felony counts of insurance
Co-defendant Tom Kalili, who owned and operated a dental office called
Beverly Hills Medical Suites, pleaded no contest April 10 to one felony count
each of insurance fraud and failure to file an income tax return. Kalili, 59,
was sentenced April 29 to one year in county jail and five years of probation,
along with paying just over $786,000 in restitution to various insurance
The case stemmed from a multi-year joint investigation by state
regulators and tax agents.
Hanford police continue to investigate the case of Platinum Dental, a group named earlier this month in a check-fraud scheme that left several businesses around town with a significant hole in their pockets.
Police investigators say people claiming to be Platinum Dental employees are trying to cash checks bearing the company logo at local retailers. When retailers go to the bank for reimbursement, they are told that the checks are issued from a nonexistent or bad account.
One victim, Harrod’s Market on East Sixth Street, lost more than $1,000 to the bad checks, money that has not been returned since the business was hit in early November. Police say so far four businesses have been taken for about $4,000 and they predict there may be other victims out there.
Police said no arrests have been made regarding these incidents. Department officials said the high volume of cases has slowed down the investigation.
But what started out as a simple case of suspected fraud has since become “very weird,” according to Lt. Pat Crowe.
Platinum Dental’s official Web site describes the group as an “affordable full-service cosmetic dentistry office.” It goes on to say they are a member of “the Better Business Bureau, the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association and the Hanford Chamber of Commerce.”
However, not one of these organizations contacted by The Sentinel claimed any knowledge of the group.
“I’ve never even heard of them,” Chamber of Commerce CEO Hope-Williams Morikawa said earlier this month.
Officials with the California Dental Association said that while their organization normally keeps track of dentists by name, they have never had any registered dentists affiliated with a Platinum Dental company in Hanford.
The city Finance Department says there are no businesses with the name “Platinum Dental” licensed to operate in Hanford.
Only one company is registered with the California Secretary of State’s Web site to operate under the name Platinum Dental, but it’s based out of San Marcos. Officials there said they have no affiliation with Hanford’s Platinum Dental.
Sentinel columnist and Bakersfield attorney Dennis Beaver was asked to look into Platinum Dental and concluded that the group “does not appear to be run as a legitimate business.”
Beaver said he called the company to ask the name of their practicing dentist, only to be immediately disconnected. A return call was answered by a message saying the number was no longer in service.
“I would tell anybody to be cautious about stepping in there,” Beaver said. “Their refusal to answer Sentinel phone calls combined with their peculiar telephone behavior raises a huge red flag to me. We cannot establish their legitimacy with the dental board and, combined with the bad check issue, we have every reason… to be cautious.”
The California Board of Dentistry could find no record of a dental license being issued to Platinum Dental, but an investigator said “this doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. We just have to look into the matter further.”
A Kings County resident who wished to remain anonymous told The Sentinel that her teeth were cleaned at the company’s 425 W. Seventh St. office by a dentist who “only drives down to Hanford on Wednesdays.” She said she didn’t recall the dentist’s name, but that he was based in Fresno.
A Sentinel reporter visited the company’s office on several occasions throughout the month of December and consistently found the location dark, with only a taped paper sign bearing the group’s logo on the door.
A representative of Platinum Dental who did not identify herself answered “no comment” when asked about the company’s possible involvement in check fraud and did not answer repeated return phone calls.
The group could potentially face such charges as the unauthorized practice of medicine, violation of the business and professions code and fraud, according to Beaver.
Content retrieved from http://hanfordsentinel.com/news/check-fraud-investigation-questions-arise-surrounding-local-downtown-dental-office/article_c534eb8a-f797-55dc-8e8a-b6c416580619.html
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