Dental assistant sentenced to time served and probation in pleading no contest to insurance fraud

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman who worked as a dental assistant was sentenced Thursday to time served in county jail and five years’ probation after pleading no contest to falsifying insurance claims for procedures that were not performed.

Alma Almendariz was arrested in July on allegations she submitted 23 fraudulent claims for her and her son and received $10,165 from AFLAC. The state Department of Insurance said she used insider knowledge she gained as at the dental office — which was not named by the department — to submit the claims.

Almendariz pleaded no contest in August to charges of grand theft, making false claims for health benefits, preparing a false insurance claim, unauthorized use of another person’s identifying information and forgery, all felonies. Sixty-two other charges were dismissed under the plea agreement.

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