A Las Vegas dentist and his office manager pleaded guilty Thursday in a scheme to submit more than $209,000 in false billing claims to a Laborer’s Union insurance administrator.
Mauricio Vargas, 50, and Enoc Adrian Renteria, 33, both of Las Vegas, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden announced.
Both face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the felony charges and are to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro in October.
Vargas, who operated AV Dental in Las Vegas, and Renteria conspired with an employee of Laborers Local 872 to submit the false claims to the union, according to the plea agreements. Local 872, which is self-insured, contracted with a third party administrator to settle and pay claims on behalf of union members.
AV Dental previously had been barred from submitting claims, prosecutors alleged. But with Vargas’ knowledge, Renteria cultivated a relationship with the union employee and submitted the false claims to the third party administrator.
Renteria is alleged to have paid bribes to the union employee to get the claims approved. The FBI is conducting the investigation.
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