- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Two Southern Californians have been convicted of a $71 million scheme to bilk health insurers by submitting claims for unnecessary procedures.

Theresa Fisher of Tustin and Lindsay Hardgraves of San Pedro were found guilty Thursday of mail fraud. Each faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors say they promised free or discounted cosmetic surgery to patients who agreed to undergo unnecessary procedures - such as colonoscopies - at an Orange County surgery center.

They submitted $71 million in claims and received more than $50 million.

Once insurers paid, the patients were given tummy tucks, liposuction and other cosmetic procedures that typically aren’t covered by insurance.

A third defendant, Vi Nguyen (Win) of Placentia, pleaded guilty in January to mail fraud.

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