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Mesa woman begins 6-year prison term for stolen insurance checks

(Getty Images/Scott Olson)

PHOENIX — A resident of Mesa has begun a 6-year prison sentence for stealing more than 1,000 insurance company checks issued to doctors she worked for from 2011 until 2017.

Sharon Ashcroft plead guilty in October 2019 to theft and attempted fraudulent schemes; her prison term started Aug. 5, according to a press release.

Ashcroft began working as a medical biller for two ophthalmologists in Tempe in August 2011. Her duties included depositing insurance checks issued to her employers for patient care.

She allegedly wrote off account balances as “uncollectible bad debt from insurance companies,” “uncollectible bad debt from patients,” or “insurance payment reductions/adjustments due to contracted rate of reimbursement being lower than what the doctors charge.”

In February 2017, a new office manager discovered financial discrepancies after contact with an insurance company.

A review of Ashcroft’s financial records were said to show expenditures for vacations, spa treatments, furniture, cars and her daughter’s wedding.

Following her completed prison sentence, Ashcroft will be placed on four years of supervised probation and will pay $651,330.65 in restitution to the doctors.

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