By RICHARD BROOKS / STAFF WRITER
Published: Sept. 16, 2016 Updated: 4:20 p.m.
Owners of a Corona, Califormia medical firm face insurance fraud charges involving 165 bills totalling $380,000 over a three-year period, say state Department of Insurance officials.
The case focuses on Corona Physical Medicine and three defendants -- Dr. Edward Albert G. Balbas, chiropractor Jon Brunelle, and Alejandra Brunelle -- who surrendered Friday, Sept. 16, at Riverside County Superior Court and were each released on $382,000 bail, investigators said in a written statement.
They are accused of conspiring to mark up insurance reimbursement claims for laboratory tests to increase their profits.
"Evidence (shows) the suspects paid Cell Science Systems, an out-of-state lab, between $312 and $625 for the lab tests, but billed insurers $4,256 for the tests," according to the statement. "The suspects were able to hide their alleged crime by claiming they processed and analyzed the blood tests through an in-house lab, so the insurers were unaware that the actual cost...was substantially lower." The defendants are scheduled to return to court Oct. 24.