Woman, 66, accused of filing bogus dental claims

The former office manager for an Oak Harbor dentist is accused of stealing thousands of dollars by making false insurance claims, court documents say.

Prosecutors charged Katherine D. Hargarten, 66, of Coupeville, in Island County Superior Court March 14 with theft in the first degree and five counts of making false claim for a health care payment.

The fraudulent insurance claims were discovered during a 2015 audit by the dentist who purchased the practice from another dentist. Hargarten worked for both men.

Hargarten allegedly filed claims in her name and her husband’s name. The checks from the insurance company went directly to her husband, according to a report by a detective with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Hargarten is suspected of obtaining nearly $18,000 in fraudulent benefits from 55 fraudulent claims, the report states.

If convicted of the charges against her, Hargarten could face from 14 to 18 months in prison under the standard sentencing range.

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