FRESNO – On December 14, 2018, Benta Jean Fries, 49, of Clovis, was arrested on 67 felony counts for allegedly running a health care fraud scam that netted more than $270,000, with potential losses of more than $1.2 million.
A joint investigation by the California Department of Insurance and the Fresno County District Attorney's Office revealed that between October 2014 and April 2018 Fries, doing business as Silhouette Breast Prosthetics, submitted fraudulent charges to six different health insurance companies. Silhouette Breast Prosthetics provides breast prosthetics and undergarments for breast cancer patients and contracts with health insurance companies to reimburse for those items deemed medically necessary.
According to detectives, Fries would bill insurance companies for products patients never received or for more expensive products than patients purchased. The fraud was discovered when a patient reviewed her explanation of benefits and found charges for products she did not receive. Fries was booked into Fresno County Jail with bail set at $1.025 million.
“It is deplorable, the amount of insurance fraud that is committed in this state and this country,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “This particular case of suspected fraud involved patients who have, or are currently, battling cancer. I have no words for someone who would target breast cancer patients for their own financial benefit.”