$5 Million Cosmetic Surgery Scam
We recently reported on a woman authorities dubbed the “Boob Job Bandit” after she had a breast augmentation using an assumed identity and tried to stiff practitioners for the bill.
It turns out this alleged criminal was just “small time” compared to four west coast women accused of scamming the Culinary Union’s health insurance program to the tune of almost 5 million dollars.
Alleged perpetrators Sara Casales and Lucia Solano of Las Vegas and Rebeca Acosta and Ana Bertha Acosta of California each face several charges, including health care fraud and mail fraud.
The scam allegedly worked like this: members of the union’s health insurance plan met Rebeca Acosta at a private California residence. There, some claim they were told that the union’s insurer would pay for cosmetic surgeries in Mexico if they paid an upfront fee. Others admit they knew the claims were fraudulent, but wanted the surgeries.
Investigators said between January 2002 and February 2006, the union’s insurance fund had been billed $4.9
million for “out of country emergency procedures” which were actually tummy tucks and breast augmentations.
If convicted, Rebeca Acosta faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Ana Bertha Acosta and Sara Casales face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and Lucia Solano faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.