BROWARD COUNTY DENTIST FACES GRAND THEFT
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 offers 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
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.