A Tustin woman has been sentenced to nearly 3.5 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution for her part in an Orange plastic surgery center's scam that gave new noses, boobs and tummy tucks to patients whose insurance companies were fraudulently billed for covered, medically necessary procedures.
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U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton gave the 41-month sentence to Theresa Fisher, a 45-year-old consultant at the since closed Princess Cosmetic Surgery office, which submitted bills for more than $71 million in medical procedures for patients who received free or discounted cosmetic surgery, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Takla. A review of only some claims submitted to insurance companies found many bills were for unneeded procedures, added Takla, who put the loss so far at $2.6 million.
Customers lured to the center were told they could receive free or discounted cosmetic surgeries as part of a larger suite of surgeries that could be billed to their union or PPO health care benefit program, said Takla, who noted many fraudulent claims were submitted to health insurance plans run by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Operating Engineers Union.
Also last week, Stanton sentenced Princess Cosmetic Surgery marketer Lindsay Hardgraves, 30, of San Pedro, to five months in prison and ordered her to pay $85,000 in restitution. Another center consultant, Vi Nguyen, 31, of Placentia, pleaded guilty to four counts of mail fraud on January 16 and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10.