SCIF Auditor & Alleged Accomplice Arrested

December 17, 2002

Investigators with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Criminal Investigations Branch’s Fraud Division announced the arrest of a Santa Clarita woman and a State Compensation Insurance Fund (SCIF) Auditor on assorted charges relating to alleged theft from SCIF.

Courtney Aplas, 31, AKA Courtney N. Aplas, was arrested Dec. 12 and booked into Los Angeles County Jail. Rodolfo Gaona, 42, AKA Norberto Munoz, a supervisor for SCIF, was arrested and booked into Los Angeles County Jail on Nov. 27, and remains in jail on $500.000 bail. Gaona’s next court appearance is set for Dec. 23, 2002. The pair was arrested for allegedly embezzling $619,650 from SCIF between Nov. 1, 1993 and March 10, 1995. The alleged theft surfaced during a routine audit by SCIF in 1999. he Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint with the Los Angeles County Superior Court charging both suspects with Grand Theft, Conspiracy, Theft by Computer and Theft by a Public Official. If convicted, both suspects could be sentenced to prison for up to three years, community service and restitution.

According to investigators, Gaona was hired by SCIF on April 21, 1986 using the name of Norberto S. Munoz. On June 11, 1987, Munoz was promoted and assigned to supervise seven to eight employees in the Key Data Operator’s Office. he Key Data Operator’s Office is responsible for issuing checks to vendors and claimants and updating information into the computer system for the insurance company. In 1990, investigators say Gaona started an interpretation business named Americas Interpreting Services.

Between Nov. 1, 1993 and continuing through March 10, 1995, using his position in the Key Data Operator’s Office, Gaona allegedly issued checks to his interpretation business for services that were not performed in an amount totaling $476,010. Additionally, between Jan. 19, 1994 and May 5, 1994, Gaona, with the help of Aplas allegedly defrauded SCIF of an additional $93,780. Aplas allegedly filed a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the County of Los Angeles for a non-existent interpretation company named Medical Consultant Interpreters. The next day after Aplas filed the Fictitious Business Name Statement, Gaona allegedly started issuing and sending checks to Aplas’ non-existent interpretation company for interpretation services that were never performed.

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