Judge Gavel

Photo: Alex Staroseltsev / Shutterstock

Port of Long Beach Dockworkers in Hot Water Over Fraudulent Health Plan Billing Scheme

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3084
January 12, 2023

A dockworker at the Port of Long Beach has pleaded guilty to fraudulently billing his union’s health care plan for sexual services.

Defendant Cameron Rahm pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Rahm is one of nine defendants—seven of whom were dockworkers at the Port of Long Beach—charged by federal prosecutors in September in a conspiracy to submit more than $2.1 million in fraudulent claims to their labor union’s health insurance plan for sexual services or physical therapy that never was provided.

According to his plea agreement, Rahm obtained sexual services from women employed at three businesses in the San Pedro and Wilmington areas of Los Angeles that offered patients chiropractic services and acupuncture treatments, in addition to sexual services.

Rahm authorized the conspiracy’s leader, Sara Victoria, to submit false claims to Rahm’s health plan run by his union, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Maritime Association. The ILWU-PMA benefit plan provided coverage for chiropractic services and generally covered all of the cost with no deductible and without requiring plan members receiving the services to contribute any copay amount or incur any other out-of-pocket costs.

From January 2017 to April 2021, Rahm authorized Victoria to submit false claims to the union’s health benefit plan under the name of his wife, who was a plan beneficiary. Rahm’s false and fraudulent claims that Victoria submitted to the ILWU-PMA plan were for services that were not actually rendered, including chiropractic and physical therapy services.

Rahm also requested $240 in cash per month from Victoria in exchange for his authorization for Victoria to submit additional false claims for reimbursement to the ILWU-PMA plan for services not rendered using his and his wife’s insurance information.

In total, Victoria submitted approximately $178,495 in fraudulent claims to the ILWU-PMA plan for services purportedly rendered to Rahm’s wife, for which for which the plan paid approximately $30,243. Rahm faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

In December 2022, Victoria pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. In total, Victoria submitted approximately $2,110,920 in claims to the ILWU-PMA plan, for which the plan paid approximately $551,810. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for April.

Four other dockworkers at the Port of Long Beach pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and face up to 10 years in federal prison at their sentencing.

Three additional defendants, who were also dockworkers at the Port of Long Beach, each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of theft in connection with health care. Each defendant faces a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison if convicted.

Back to Main