A Washington woman was facing arraignment Tuesday in a Franklin County court on fraud charges brought by the state Department of Labor and Industries.
Carla C. Moreno, also known as Carla Cynthia Montes de Oca Moreno or Carla Moreno Montgomery, is facing charges after an investigation by L&I determined she had forged signatures and bills to the state from 2014-2017 that resulted in $41,000 payments. She was operating two interpreter services during that time.
A news release from L&I accused her of billing L&I for appointments that never happened and submitting billing forms with the forged signatures of health care providers and certified interpreters who had no idea what she was doing.
"This was a brazen scheme to steal tens of thousands of dollars that should have gone to help injured workers," Chris Bowe, assistant director of L&I's Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards, said in a statement.
"Besides filing phony claims, the defendant is accused of allowing unqualified people to interpret at patients' appointments. That's just not right."
The charges cover incidents involving the interpreter services called "The Language Spot" and "Language Spot," both based in Pasco. A sole proprietor, Moreno hired independent contractors to interpret at medical and physical therapy appointments for Spanish-speaking workers who had injury claims with L&I.
Investigators went through an audit in 2015 and uncovered more than 550 bills that they believe display some type of fraud. On many of the billing forms, investigators determined that Moreno had forged signatures of certified interpreters and health care providers. The audit also showed that close to 90 bills or appointments were filed that never took place.
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