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6 get prison in AFLAC wire fraud case

McALLEN — Six area residents received prison sentences Monday after pleading guilty in an insurance fraud scheme.

The sentences are the first among 28 defendants who have admitted to defrauding the American Family Life Assurance Company by filing fake injury claims, prosecutors said.

Three dozen people were indicted in June as part of “Operation Sitting Duck,” a sweep of Hidalgo County residents who allegedly bilked as much as $3 million from the Columbus, Ga.-based insurance company by filing thousands of fake injury claims on supplemental insurance policies — often for as little as $100 per claim.

Those sentenced by U.S. District Judge Randy Crane on Monday are:

>> Idaleen Sanchez, 43, of Edinburg, who received 12 months and one day in prison and was ordered to pay $48,852 in restitution

>> Valerio Ramos, 55, of Edinburg, who received 12 months and one day in prison and was ordered to pay $49,850 in restitution

>> Rigoberto Ramirez, 30, of Edinburg, who was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison and was ordered to pay $67,375 in restitution

>> Eddie Guerra, 35, of Alamo, who received an eight-month prison sentence and was ordered to pay $22,240 in restitution

>> Norma Sanchez, 40, of Edinburg, who was sentenced to six months in prison and was ordered to pay $20,660 in restitution

>> Jose Guerra, 47, of La Joya, who was sentenced to six months in prison and was ordered to pay $19,597 in restitution

All six defendants sentenced Monday will serve a three-year term of supervised release after completing their prison terms.

Each person sentenced pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. The policyholders sentenced defrauded AFLAC by visiting two doctors in Reynosa who would file fake accident reports that were sent along with the insurance claims.

Twenty-two other defendants await sentencing at hearings scheduled this fall. Eight others have charges that remain pending.

The Monitor

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Written by lordsinsurancelog

October 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

Posted in Insurance News