For Immediate Release: January 9, 2019

Contact: Barry Smith at 919-807-6014

Dental office employee charged with insurance fraud, embezzlement

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey today announced the arrest of Margarita Alejo, 38, of 2500 Carver St., Durham. Alejo is charged with insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense, and embezzlement, all felonies.

Special Agents with the Department of Insurance’s Criminal Investigations Division accuse Alejo of manipulating claims with Cigna on a patient, falsifying patient records, opening unauthorized accounts and obtaining approximately $15,000 from patients of Harmony Family Dentistry in Durham. According to the arrest warrant, she did this while working as a front desk employee between November 2017 and May 2018.

Durham police arrested Alejo on Dec. 21, 2018. She was given a $15,000 unsecured bond.

Insurance fraud costs American consumers approximately $80 billion dollars a year. According to Commissioner Causey, fraud costs North Carolinians between 15 and 20 cents of every dollar paid on insurance premiums -- and it’s getting worse.

"I am determined to stem the tide of insurance fraud in this state in order to save residents money," said Commissioner Causey. "That's why I am dedicated to the mission of our NCDOI law enforcement officers who investigate and prosecute claims of insurance and bail bonding fraud."

To report suspected fraud, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840. Callers may remain anonymous. Information is also available at www.ncdoi.com.

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