SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego dentist was charged Monday with 75 felony insurance fraud counts for allegedly bilking insurance companies of hundreds of thousands of dollars by submitting claims for procedures she never performed, including more than 600 root canals.
April Rose Ambrosio, 58, is accused of collecting more than $300,000 for procedures that never occurred. She faces 83 years in prison if convicted of all counts.
Prosecutors allege Ambrosio submitted insurance claims for as many as 28 root canals on a single patient, and also submitted claims indicating she had performed more than 100 root canals over a three-month period for a family of four.
"Medical providers are held to the highest standard and their patients trust them to be honest when it comes to their care," state Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said. "Ambrosio violated that trust when she fraudulently billed for services she never performed."
Ambrosio is accused of defrauding eight insurance companies in the alleged billing scheme, which took place over the course of three years. Though she received around $300,000, according to the Department of Insurance, prosecutors say she billed the insurance companies for nearly $600,000.
She remains out of custody on her own recognizance, but Superior Court Judge Laura Parsky ordered Ambrosio to surrender her passport. The judge also imposed a Fourth Amendment waiver, which means Ambrosio is subject to law enforcement searches, even without a warrant.
She pleaded not guilty to all counts on Monday afternoon and is due back in court Sept. 5 for a readiness conference.
"The audacity of this defendant's repeated fraud is astounding," San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said. "Unfortunately, when insurance companies get ripped off, consumers ultimately pay the price through higher premiums."