Dr. Pedro Eva, 49, of Soledad, has been convicted of grand theft and submitting false claims to the state of California while working at Salinas Valley State Prison, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Office of the Inspector General from March 1 to June 30, 2007, which was initiated after authorities received an anonymous letter alleging that Dr. Eva and four other doctors were overbilling the state for their services, prosecutors said. The investigation revealed that all these doctors were contract doctors who were supposed to submit daily timesheets for only those hours spent while inside the prison. Instead, they submitted false invoices claiming they worked the entire day when they worked only a portion of the day, amounting to $200,000 theft for the three-month period, prosecutors said.
District Attorney Dean Flippo expressed appreciation for the jury’s verdict: “These doctors took advantage of a position of trust. It is important that employees who are entrusted by the government to perform duties are compensated only for actual time they put in.”
Dr. Eva is the fourth doctor convicted from this investigation, prosecutors said. The case was delayed in getting to trial because of five changes in attorneys for Dr. Eva.
Judge Larry Hayes presided over the three week jury trial and is scheduled to sentence Dr. Eva on April 8. Dr. Eva faces three years state prison, prosecutors said.