Thirty-Two South Texas Hispanics Arrested In Operation Sitting Duck

United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced Friday along with Special Agent-in-Charge Cory B. Nelson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) San Antonio field office that thirty-two South Texas Hispanics, many of whom were a police officer, teachers, county government employees and others, were arrested on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud uncovered as a result of the FBI’s “Operation Sitting Duck,” a codename for an ongoing investigation into fraudulent insurance claims filed with American Family Life Assurance Company (AFLAC).

Prior to the arrests, Operation Sitting Duck returned eight separate but related sealed indictments, the allegations in which concern insurance policies purchased under the AFLAC Accident-Only Insurance Plan under which plan, policyholders file claims with AFLAC to obtain cash benefits if the policyholder received treatment from a physician for a legitimate, accident-caused injury including lacerations, bruises, burns, fractures or dismemberment beginning July of 2001. The indictments allege that from July 2001 through April 2010, the policyholders invented fake accidents claiming injuries and treated with two physicians who worked together at a clinic in Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico. The physicians then prepared accident reports for each fake injury in exchange for a cash kickback of approximately $15 per accident report falsely claiming they provided treatment and medication. Over said time period, the policyholders submitted approximately 21,600 allegedly false and fraudulent insurance claims, each submitted claim was accompanied by the physicians’ accident reports and sent to AFLAC claims department. As a result of the fraudulent claims, AFLAC disbursed approximately $3 million in insurance proceeds.

The FBI has issued a Press Release, in which the FBI confirms that seven of the eight indictments have become unsealed or at least partially un-sealed providing the following list of those arrested in connection with the allegations:

Indictment #1

Name Age City of Residence

Lucila Alcala, 40, Edinburg, Texas

Lilly Perez, 32, La Villa, Texas

Desiree Rodriguez, 34, Edinburg, Texas

Jose D. Rodriguez, 27, Edinburg, Texas

Steven Betancourt, 39, Edinburg, Texas

Maria C. Alaniz, 39, Elsa, Texas

Patricia Cerda-Flores, 44, Palmview, Texas

Dalia Cerda-Delgado, 39, Palmview, Texas

Leonor B. Salinas, 46, Elsa, Texas

Maria Guzman, 40, Edinburg, Texas

Rebecca Castillo, 41, Edinburg, Texas

Ninfa Reyes, 38, Edcouch, Texas

Noemi Villareal, 60, Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #2

Idaleen Sanchez, 34, Edinburg, Texas

Norma Sanchez, 41, Edinburg, Texas

Valerio Ramos, 55, Edinburg, Texas

Jose Guerra, Jr., 37, La Joya, Texas

Eddie Guerra, 34, Alamo, Texas

Indictment #3

Mary Cedillo, 65, Edinburg, Texas

Martha Ortega, 57, McAllen, Texas

Yolanda Segovia, 55, McAllen, Texas

Candida Chavez, 34, McAllen, Texas

Lori Chavez, 30, McAllen, Texas

Anissa Chavez, 31, McAllen, Texas

Homer Cedillo, Jr., 41, Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #4

Norma Flores, 54, Palmview, Texas

Nora Palacios, 53, La Joya, Texas

Georgina Flores, 33, Mission, Texas

Indictment #5

Nancy Rodriguez, 31, Pharr, Texas

Maria Cantu, 56, McAllen, Texas

Indictment #6

Beatriz Carreon, 42, Edinburg, Texas

Indictment #7

Minerva Murguia, 43, Sullivan City, Texas

According to the FBI, each count of conspiracy and wire fraud carries a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, a $250,000 fine and mandatory restitution.

[The original article is also located at: allvoices.com]

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