SAN DIEGO—A Chula Vista mates who took portion successful a strategy that defrauded pregnant women and bilked the state’s Medi-Cal programme retired of much than $1 cardinal were sentenced Oct. 26 to national situation terms.
Melissa Alvarez Torres, 33, and Jose Luis Olmos Hernandez, 36, pleaded blameworthy earlier this twelvemonth to selling bogus security to large women surviving successful Mexico.
On Tuesday, Alvarez received a 33-month term, portion Olmos received 40 months. Olmos received a higher condemnation owed to what prosecutors described successful tribunal documents arsenic a “thinly veiled threat” to a pistillate who confronted him and an effort to deter her from reporting what she knew to authorities.
As portion of their sentence, Alvarez and Olmos agreed to wage much than $1.5 cardinal successful restitution to some the authorities of California and the idiosyncratic victims.
The defendants posted advertisements connected Facebook for their purported backstage security institution called Seguros Americanos Embarazo—or American Pregnancy Insurance—and claimed policies purchased done their institution would let women to legally springiness commencement successful the United States, prosecutors said.
According to tribunal documents, galore of the women sought sum done the institution due to the fact that they had high-risk pregnancies and considered U.S. hospitals to beryllium safer.
Victims were charged betwixt $1,200 and $3,000 per pregnancy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Once they secured the women’s idiosyncratic information, prosecutors accidental the defendants unwittingly signed them up for Medi-Cal benefits, contempt the information that the women were not eligible due to the fact that they weren’t California residents.
Prosecutors said Alvarez impersonated dozens of women erstwhile calling the Medi-Cal Access Program—or MCAP—customer work telephone enactment to get their applications approved.
According to tribunal documents, galore of the women reported having nary volition of signing up for government-funded benefits due to the fact that they knew doing truthful would interruption the conditions of their enactment oregon tourer visas.
When 1 of the women confronted Olmos astir the insurance, helium sent her a representation of her visa and told her, “Let maine punctual you that you tin suffer your visa, ma’am,” tribunal documents state.
Prosecutors allege the defendants got astatine slightest $425,000 done the scheme, which was utilized to bargain aggregate properties successful Mexico, including 2 homes successful the Mexicali country and a beachfront spot successful Nayarit.
They were arrested successful September of past twelvemonth astatine their location successful Chula Vista.
Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said, “These defendants exploited families astatine their astir susceptible and defrauded our captious nationalist wellness programs to enactment their pockets.”