A former employee of Carmel-based Seven Corners Inc. has been sentenced to 30 months in federal prison for her role in a scheme that defrauded the insurance company out of more than $588,000.
Maria Caceres, 56, pleaded guilty in August to one count of wire fraud and she was sentenced on Thursday. In addition to her prison time, Caceres was ordered to pay more than $496,000 in restitution.
Caceres, who formerly lived in Hamilton County but now lives in Coral Springs, Florida, started working for Seven Corners in 1998. Prosecutors say Caceres prepared and submitted 30 fraudulent claims to the travel insurance company between May 2011 and September 2016, using accomplices to create fictitious names, purchase travel insurance policies from Seven Corners, then submit fraudulent claims for incidents that never happened.
As part of the scheme, prosecutors say, Caceres and her accomplices created false email addresses in the name of a Venezuelan hospital.
Seven Corners fired Caceres in December 2016 after an employee raised concerns about claims that Caceres had handled. After doing its own investigation, the company referred the matter to the FBI in 2018.
Caceres is one of three former Seven Corners employees to be charged with fraud in separate incidents in recent years.
Lisa Ann Raines of Anderson, who worked for the company between 2006 and 2016, was indicted on one charge of wire fraud in January 2020. Court records indicate that Raines intends to plead guilty, but her change-of-plea and sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.
And Wesley Smith, along with three friends, were charged in August 2019 with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Smith pleaded guilty in May 2021 and was sentenced to 47 months in prison and ordered to pay $758,165 in restitution. His three co-defendants also pleaded guilty last year and received prison sentences of between six and 13 months, along with orders to pay restitution in varying amounts.