All Kinds of Ways|to Make a Dirty Buck

     LOS ANGELES (CN) — Calling her “callous” and “despicable,” a federal judge Monday sentenced a 70-year-old Orange County woman to eight years in federal prison for billing Medicare and Medicaid $9 million for hospice services for people who were not really dying.
     Priscilla Villabroza collected $7,433,329 from her bogus billings, and after giving her a tongue lashing, U.S. District Judge James Otero ordered her to pay it back.
     Villabroza was one of 10 defendants charged in the fraud run out of Covina-based California Hospice Care.
     Villabroza bought the company in late 2007 while she was being investigated in another health care fraud case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Monday. She was convicted in that case, which at the time was the biggest Medicaid fraud ever in California, and sentenced to 4½ years in federal prison for it.
     All 10 defendants have been convicted or pleaded guilty. One was sentenced to a diversion program.
     Sri Wijegoonaratna, 61, of Anaheim, and Boyao Huang, 43, of Pasadena, will be sentenced on Aug. 15, also by Judge Otero.

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