SALINAS — The office manager of Pacific Pain Care Institute has been arraigned on 23 felony charges of insurance fraud. The DA’s Office announced that Maria “Aloha” Eclavea now faces a 27-year prison sentence for conspiring with Dr. Steven Mangar in the fraud scheme.
The two were charged following an investigation by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Insurance. Mangar was arraigned on May 24 for an elaborate fraud scheme in which he was billing for services he did not provide, knowingly providing false statements for financial gain and even going so far as to prescribe a controlled substance to an addict.
Eclavea’s bail has been set at $500,000 and her preliminary hearing took place on June 9th. The DA’s Office has also launched a new Healthcare Fraud Unit aimed at prosecuting prescription drug fraud by medical providers in Monterey County.
They will also investigate other cases such as using another person’s identity to secure healthcare benefits, embezzlement, unlawful solicitations/referrals, fraudulent billing, inflated/falsified pharmacy billing, out-patient surgery center fraud, and fraudulent disability claim.
The DA’s office encourages any patient or insurance company that believes it may have been a victim of misconduct to contact the office at 831-883-7508.