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Goddard Announces Dental Office Manager Given Prison Term for Insurance Fraud

(Phoenix, Ariz. -- Aug. 13, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Kathy Salazar, 51, who worked as a dental office manager in St. Johns, has been sentenced in Apache County Superior Court to one year in prison for insurance fraud, a class 6 felony. She also will serve seven years probation for theft, a class 2 felony.

Salazar pleaded guilty to submitting false insurance claims for dental procedures that were never performed and then pocketing the insurance checks.

Judge Michael Roca also ordered her to pay a $5,000 fine and $88,408 in restitution to Dr. Howard Lee of St. Johns.  Salazar worked in his office for 28 years as a dental assistant and office manager. She lived in St. Johns before recently moving to Mesa.  

Salazar's scheme was uncovered during a routine audit performed by Delta Dental which showed irregularities in submitted claims.

This case was investigated by the Arizona Department of Insurance Fraud Unit and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Beverly Rudnick.

A copy of the indictment is attached.  

For more information, contact Communications Director Steve Wilson at (602) 542-8351.

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