An East Valley woman, Sharon Ashcroft, was sentenced to six years in prison for stealing insurance company checks worth hundreds of thousands of dollars issued to doctors she worked for between 2011 and 2017.
Ashcroft, of Mesa, worked as a part-time medical biller for two Tempe ophthalmologists beginning in August of 2011.
According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Ashcroft would deposit insurance checks issued to the doctors for patient care into bank accounts she controlled. She then fraudulently wrote off the balances associated with those patients in the software system as “uncollectable bad debt from insurance companies,” “uncollectable bad debt from patients,” or “insurance payment reductions/adjustments due to contracted rate of reimbursement being lower than what the doctors charge.”
Ashcroft got caught when a new office manager discovered the fraud in February of 2017 when she contacted an insurance company and learned that the bills were paid. Ashcroft’s financial records revealed that she spent the stolen money on elaborate vacations for her and her family to locations such as New York, Ireland, Mexico, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C. She also spent tens of thousands of dollars on spa treatments, furniture, cars, and her daughter’s wedding.
In October 2019, Ashcroft pleaded guilty to attempted Fraudulent Schemes, a class 3 felony, and Theft, a class 2 felony.
Ashcroft was remanded into custody after her sentence was imposed on August 5, 2020, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Following her release from prison, Ashcroft will be placed on four years of supervised probation and will pay $651,330.65 in restitution to the doctors.