California

San Diego dentist allegedly faked bills for root canals. Now she faces fraud charges

A San Diego dentist faces 75 felony counts of insurance fraud after allegedly collecting more than $300,000 in bogus claims for hundreds of root canals she never performed.

April Rose Ambrosio, 58, was arraigned Monday in San Diego Superior Court on the sheaves of charges tied to a three-year billing scheme that stunned local prosecutors for its brazenness, California Department of Insurance officials announced in a statement Monday.

State insurance agents uncovered the scheme, officials said. Ambrosio allegedly claimed whole families as patients, claiming to perform more than 20 root canals per family member; and submitted claims for as many as 28 root canals per patient. She performed none of the procedures, said state insurance officials Monday.

“The audacity of the defendant’s repeated fraud is astounding,” San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan said in the insurance department’s statement. “When insurance companies get ripped off, consumers ultimately pay the price through higher premiums.”

Eight insurance companies were hit in the costly scam. Insurance officials did not name them.

“Medical providers are held to the highest standard and their patients trust them to be honest when it comes to their care,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara in a statement announcing Ambrosio’s arraignment. “Ambrosio violated that trust when she fraudulently billed for services she never performed.”

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