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CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Five Arrests in $1.3 Million Insurance Fraud Scheme

4/12/2023
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Jimmy Patronis Announces Five Arrests in $1.3 Million Insurance Fraud Scheme

MIAMI, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrests of Christi Olson, Mercedes Linares, Leonel Aguiar, and Leonardo Alfonso on felony charges of Identity Theft, Organized Scheme to Defraud, Insurance Fraud, and Grand Theft for allegedly using a former dentist’s professional credentials to defraud insurance companies out of more than $1.3 million.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Identity theft and insurance fraud are serious crimes that will not be tolerated in Florida. As your CFO, I have made fighting fraud my top priority and will make sure that anyone who seeks to prey on innocent, hardworking Floridians will pay the price. Excellent work by our fraud detectives for a job well done and to the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office for prosecuting this case. This is a reminder to scam artists in our state, if you commit fraud, you will be caught and you will be brought to justice.”

In December 2022, the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) received a complaint from a dentist whose identification was used to bill various insurance carriers for services while the dentist was no longer employed with the dental office. Detectives were able to gather evidence showing that from May 2022 through December 2022, the five suspects, all managerial employees of One Care Pediatric Dental, allegedly submitted and processed claims to DentaQuest, MCNA, Liberty, Sunlife, and Humana insurance companies for services under the former dentist's name and National Provider Identifier (NPI) while that dentist was no longer employed. After further investigation, additional evidence was gathered to show other dentist's NPI was used to file claims and bill for dental services without their knowledge. The five suspects allegedly used the former dentists provider data to submitted over 101,000 fraudulent claims and received a cash payout of approximately $1.3 million.

Christi Olson, Mercedes Linares, Leonel Aguiar, and Leonardo Alfonso were arrested on April 11, 2023, and transported to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. If convicted on all charges, they could face up to 30 years in prison respectively.

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis  
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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