Dockworkers billed health insurance for sex services, federal prosecutors say

Dockworkers billed health insurance for sex services, federal prosecutors say

LOS ANGELES — The Justice Department has filed federal charges against nine people they say were part of a scheme to submit fraudulent health insurance claims for sexual services or physical therapy that didn’t never took place.

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In a press release, federal prosecutors said the ringleader of the group was Sara Victoria, who from January 2017 to August 2021 owned and operated three businesses in the Los Angeles area that provided chiropractic services and treatment acupuncture as well as sexual services.

Prosecutors said Victoria knew the dockworkers had health insurance from the International Union of Longshoremen and Warehousemen – Pacific Maritime Association benefits plan, which covers all chiropractic services with no deductible, co-payment or out-of-pocket .

Investigators said in the press release that Victoria hired women from strip clubs to provide sexual services to dock workers. In exchange for sexual services for themselves and their friends, members of the ILWU-PMA scheme are accused of allowing Victoria to submit false claims for reimbursement of chiropractic and physiotherapy care.

Investigators said that in total, Victoria submitted $2,110,920 in claims, for which the plan paid approximately $551,810.

Victoria was also accused of agreeing to pay some of the dockworkers in cash in return for submitting false insurance claims, KTLA reported.

Victoria pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and aggravated identity theft and faces up to 12 years in federal prison, the Los Angeles Times reported.

All of the dockers charged in the scheme have accepted plea deals, except for one who has pleaded not guilty, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Cameron Rahm, a longshoreman and member of the dockworkers’ union, was charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud, health care fraud and making false statements to federal investigators, KTLA reported. If found guilty, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

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