Broward County Dentist Faces Grand Theft Charge
CONTACT: Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
FORT LAUDERDALE—Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today the arrest of a dentist who allegedly billed the Fort Lauderdale Police Health Trust Fund for more than $18,000 in dental services that were never rendered.
Dr. Amy Masri, 35, was arrested Wednesday and charged with grand theft following a joint investigation between the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. She was booked into the Broward County Jail. If convicted on the charge, she faces up to five years in prison in addition to possible fines and restitution.
“This individual is accused of stealing money needed to provide care to police officers and their families,” said CFO Sink. “This is an affront to the men and women who serve and protect our citizens, and it is a crime that should be aggressively prosecuted.”
The Fort Lauderdale Police Health Trust Fund is operated by the Fort Lauderdale Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 31 and is a self-insured fund that provides health insurance coverage for active as well as retired members of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and their families.
According to investigators, Masri not only submitted fraudulent claim forms for services that were not rendered to actual patients, she also allegedly submitted fraudulent claim forms under her maiden name, Amy Kienast, claiming to be the patient receiving the treatment. The fraud allegedly began in 2003.
An internal claims review by the Economic Crimes Unit of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department brought the suspicions to light. Ultimately, the execution of a search warrant led to interviews with several patients, which resulted in the charge. John Swope was the lead detective for DIF.
The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or any other suspected fraud case is asked to call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.