Bakersfield woman ordered to pay $31K in restitution in insurance fraud scheme

Crime Watch

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Bakersfield woman who pleaded no contest to submitting fraudulent insurance claims for medical and dental procedures must pay full restitution and will remain on probation for two years.

Leilani King was ordered at her sentencing Thursday to pay $31,060.82 in restitution to Symetra Insurance, as well as an additional $2,500 fine plus normal fines and fees, prosecutors said. During her probation period she will be subject to search for fraudulent documents.

If King again violates the law or fails to follow the terms of her probation she could be sentenced to three years and eight months in prison, prosecutors said.

“The defendant has no other significant criminal history, and when confronted with the investigation admitted the full extent of the wrongdoing to investigators and has shown good faith in ensuring that restitution is fully made to the insurance company that suffered the loss due to the false claims,” Assistant District Attorney Joseph Kinzel said.

Last month, King, 40 at the time of her arrest, pleaded no contest to two of 127 felonies filed against her. The other charges were then dismissed.

According to the state Department of Insurance, King submitted 61 fraudulent insurance claims between January 2015 and March 2019 after purchasing a policy with Symetra Insurance through her employer. It included coverage for her and her four children.

The claims said procedures including tooth extractions, an appendectomy, emergency room visits and sports injuries were performed at multiple provider clinics.

The clinics, however, denied performing the procedures, according to the Department of Insurance.

The state said King provided falsified or fabricated documentation. In some cases, King submitted the same invoices multiple times for separate claims.

King pleaded no contest to two counts of making false claims for health benefits.

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