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Two women face conspiracy charges for alleged insurance billing fraud

The chief executive officer and an office manager of Hayward-based home health and hospice care agency HealthNow were charged with conspiracy in a fraudulent health care insurance scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds on Friday.

Veronica Katz and Vennesa Herrera face up to 20 years in prison for allegedly submitting $120,000 in fake reimbursement claims and medical records. The two women are accused of using identities of medical practitioners without their consent to fill out medical records for Medicare claims, according to court documents.

One cooperating witness said they were listed as a physical therapist in HealthNow with over 70 patients, but they never worked at HealthNow or signed any medical records for the company.

Katz and Herrera made an initial appearance in federal court on Friday and were released on bond. Their next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 1 at 2:15 p.m.

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