Western Kansas woman sentenced for insurance fraud, restitution


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COLBY – (May 6, 2022) – A western Kansas woman has been sentenced to pay nearly $18,000 in restitution in connection with filing fraudulent insurance claims for medical services, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said today.

Lace Morford, 41, of Sharon Springs, was sentenced Wednesday in Thomas County District Court by Judge Kevin N. Berens on one count of insurance fraud, one count of unlawful use of a computer, one count of forgery and one count of theft. Berens sentenced Morford to make restitution in the amount of $17,942.50, pay a $500 fine and spend 15 days in the county jail as a condition of her probation.

Morford pleaded guilty to the charges in February. Investigators with the Kansas Insurance Department determined that Morford filed 15 invalid medical claims with her insurance carrier between June 2016 and May 2019. Morford used computers and a computer network at her place of work to falsify medical records to support her claims filed with the insurance carrier.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Brandon Hottman of the Fraud and Abuse Litigation Division in Schmidt’s office.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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