By Associated Press - Monday, October 2, 2017

PHOENIX (AP) - A Fort Defiance woman and her two sons have been sentenced to federal prison for health care fraud.

Prosecutors say Vestah Tikium was given a 33-month term while Terdell Dawes got a two-year sentence and her other son, Terrell Dawes, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

The three also were ordered by a U.S. District Court judge in Phoenix to pay more than $3 million in restitution.

Tikium and her sons previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Prosecutors say the three defendants falsely billed Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System for tens of thousands of medical transports that never occurred in 2013.

Tikium and her sons owned and operated Dine Transport, which provided non-emergency medical transportation for AHCCCS recipients on the Navajo Nation.

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