A former Fresno County behavior health worker pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court to embezzling nearly $100,000 from the county in a Medi-Cal fraud scheme.
Christina Hernandez, 39, now of Las Vegas, faces 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Hernandez worked for Fresno County’s Behavioral Health Department as a provider relations specialist and was responsible for administering mental health service benefits for Medi-Cal patients. As part of her job, Hernandez reviewed and approved claim forms from private mental health care providers who served Fresno County Medi-Cal patients.
Hernandez submitted claim forms for services that were never provided and then kept the payments for the fake services after cashing the checks at Fresno convenience stores. She also stole checks written to doctors for services that were actually provided, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
In total, Hernandez stole about $98,560 from Fresno County’s Behavioral Health Department.
The case was investigated by the FBI and Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
Hernandez is scheduled for sentencing in January.