Chula Vista Couple Pleads Guilty to Benefits Fraud Scheme Targeting Pregnant Women in Mexico

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A Chula Vista mates pleaded blameworthy Monday to moving what prosecutors described arsenic a strategy that defrauded hundreds of large women and bilked the state's Medi-Cal programme retired of millions of dollars.

Melissa Alvarez Torres, 33, and Jose Luis Olmos Hernandez, 36, each look up to 20 years successful national situation for signing large Mexican nationals, holding enactment oregon tourer visas, up for benefits they could not obtain.

The defendants posted advertisements connected Facebook for their purported backstage security institution called Seguros Americanos Embarazo -- oregon American Pregnancy Insurance -- and claimed security purchased done their institution would let women to legally springiness commencement successful the United States and would screen the costs associated with the births, prosecutors said.

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According to an affidavit filed successful national court, galore of the women sought sum done the institution due to the fact that they had high-risk pregnancies and considered U.S. hospitals to beryllium safer.

The defendants unwittingly utilized the women's idiosyncratic accusation to motion them up for Medi-Cal benefits, contempt the information that the women were not eligible due to the fact that they weren't California residents, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The women were charged "thousands of dollars a piece'' for the security and astir 250 fraudulent applications were submitted arsenic portion of the scheme, according to tribunal documents, which stated galore of the women reported having nary volition of signing up for government-funded benefits due to the fact that they knew doing truthful would interruption the conditions of their visas.

Alvarez and Olmos, who are scheduled to beryllium sentenced Oct. 8, person besides agreed to a $1.5 cardinal restitution bid to wage some losses to some the authorities of California and idiosyncratic victims.

"These defendants exploited families astatine their astir susceptible and defrauded our captious nationalist wellness programs to enactment their pockets,'' acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said.

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