Nurse Used Her Authority to Approve Over $60,000 in Fake Invoices She Created
SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – US Law News Daily – United States Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that Janet Ortega was indicted on charges of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service by submitting and approving fake invoices for over $60,000 in medical services that were never performed. Ms. Ortega, 44, of Daly City, California, was charged with seven counts of mail fraud on November 14, 2006.
According to the indictment, Ms. Ortega – while employed as a contract nurse for the Postal Service – created fictitious invoices for services allegedly performed by a physician named Dr. John De Leon. In fact, the indictment alleges, Dr. De Leon never existed. The indictment charges that Ms. Ortega submitted these false invoices to the Postal Service and then used her authority to authorize payments for these alleged services, knowing that the services were never performed. In all, Ms. Ortega obtained more than $60,000 from the scheme.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of bank fraud in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 1341 is 20 years and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Ms. Ortega must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Stacey Geis is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Legal Technician Ana Guerra. The prosecution is the result of a one year investigation by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.