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Riverside County rehab center owner going to jail for insurance fraud

By in Press Enterprise on July 6, 2017

By City News Service

The owner of a southwest Riverside County drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, who filed fraudulent medical insurance claims that netted her more than $231,000 in ill-gotten gains, pleaded guilty Wednesday, July 5 to insurance fraud and was immediately sentenced to about nine months in county jail.

Brooke Elizabeth Best-Freeman, 34, the operator of Best New Life Recovery, was also sentenced to four years on probation and will be required to pay restitution to two insurance companies, Health Net and Cigna.

Best-Freeman admitted filing false insurance claims for services she either did not provide or was not licensed to provide, misclassifying treatment in order to receive payment and forging or altering documents and treatment records, according to the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.

The treatment facility, originally located in Murrieta, then Temecula, was licensed by the California Department of Health Care Services in 2015.

Her co-defendant, 49-year-old Robert Cramer of Lake Elsinore, was taken into custody last month and is slated to be arraigned Friday on one count of referral of a client for purposes of insurance fraud, also known as “capping.”

According to prosecutors, Best-Freeman came under investigation last September after the District Attorney’s Office was contacted by Health Net fraud investigators, who had flagged multiple billings from the business.

Prosecutors said that, over a nine-month period, Best-Freeman submitted claims to Health Net and Cigna for treatments that were never provided to patients.

Cramer was allegedly tasked with finding prospects willing to go along with the conspiracy. He was promised $2,000 for his part, provided that the client stayed in treatment for at least a week, the prosecution alleges.

Health Net lost more than $195,000 paying the bogus claims, while Cigna incurred a loss of more than $36,000, according to court papers.

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