Woman Accused of Stealing About $113,000 From Employer in Billing Scam

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 40-year-old woman made her first court appearance today on charges of stealing more than $113,000 from the Irvine-based medical practice where she worked.

Arraignment was rescheduled to Feb. 18 for Veronica Gonzalez Bustos, who is charged with 10 counts each of grand theft and making false entries in records or returns and three counts of money laundering, all felonies. She also faces a sentencing enhancement allegation of aggravated white-collar crime between $100,000 and $500,000.

According to a motion prepared by Irvine police investigator Meredith Lelesi, Bustos worked for the South Coast Center for New Medicine Inc., which provides “a vast array of services for men, women and children, including latest cancer therapies, addiction therapies, detoxification, nutrition, fitness-weight loss and much more.''

Bustos, who is being held without bail, sold products in the company's Healthy Living Store in the medical offices, according to Lelesi.

Physicians at the center learned of a new cancer treatment product, Viscum Mali, while at a conference, but it was only available to order by individuals, so Bustos volunteered to buy the product on her credit card and receive reimbursement for her employers, Lelesi said.

Bustos placed orders for the product on her credit card from February through November 2017, but when she went on maternity leave, discrepancies in the billings she submitted for reimbursement were noticed, Lelesi alleged.

After requesting invoices for all of Bustos' billings, “it was discovered Bustos was charging South Coast Medical Center for New Medicine more than the true sales transactions,'' Lelesi alleged.

Investigators suspect Bustos “profited $113,659.11'' through the alleged fraudulent billings, Lelesi said.

Photo: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content