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Press Release

Central Valley Optometrist Pleads Guilty to Over $500,000 in Health Care Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Carole Sachs, 78, an optometrist in Modesto and Turlock, pleaded guilty today to committing over $550,000 in health care fraud, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced. 

According to court documents, from November 2016 through February 2021, Sachs billed Medicare for over $550,000 in optometry services that she did not actually provide to her patients, including the insertion of amniotic membranes, and received more than $295,000. Amniotic membranes are round discs machide from a combination of tissue and cells that are inserted into patients’ eyes to treat dry eyes and other medical conditions. Sachs paid the money back in restitution prior to entering her guilty plea.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the California Department of Health Care Services.  Assistant United States Attorney Joseph Barton is prosecuting the case.

Sachs is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on March 6, 2023.  She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine.  The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

Updated December 20, 2022

Health Care Fraud