Mesa woman gets prison term for stealing insurance company checks

A 57-year-old Mesa woman faces six years in prison after pleading guilty to felony charges in the theft of over 1,000 checks from insurance companies issued for doctors who employed her.

Sharon Ashcroft was sentenced last week in Maricopa County Superior Court after pleading guilty last October to theft and attempted fraud charges.

Ashcroft worked as a part-time medical biller for two Tempe ophthalmologists between 2011 and 2017.

According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Ashcroft deposited insurance company checks in bank accounts she controlled and fraudulently wrote off the balances as either payment reductions or as uncollectable bad debt from insurance companies.

The office says a new officer manager discovered the fraud in 2017 and that a review indicated Ashcroft spent the stolen money on vacations, spa treatments, furniture, cars and her daughter’s wedding.

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