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Nine arrested in workers comp language interpretation billing scheme

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Nine Californians have been arrested for allegedly submitting more than $24.6 million in fraudulent bills for language interpretation services to workers compensation insurers, the California Department of Insurance said Thursday.

The bills allegedly stemmed from Sherman Oaks, California-based G&G Interpreting Services, which is owned by siblings Francisco Javier Gomez Jr. and Angela Rehmann, according to a statement from the insurance department. G&G Interpreting is accused of billing for interpretation services provided to clinics where a majority of clinic staff spoke Spanish and would not have needed interpreters.

California insurance department investigators also found more than 83,000 instances where G&G billed for interpretation sessions lasting longer than clinics were actually open, the department said. They also have accused G&G of billing $422,000 for interpretation services by a woman who was in state prison during the time that the services were supposedly provided.

Seven others were arrested in connection with the alleged scheme, most of whom are family members of Mr. Gomez and Ms. Rehmann that worked with G&G, the insurance department said.

“People often make the mistake of thinking insurance fraud is a victimless crime — it is not,” California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said in the statement. “When those providing services to injured workers line their pockets by ripping-off workers' compensation insurers through fraudulent overbilling practices and charging for services that never occurred, we all end up paying.”