Government officials recently charged a dentist with over $1 million in fraudulent charges. After pleading guilty to the allegations, the dentist could find himself spending anywhere from 46 to 57 months in prison.
The prosecution has reportedly requested a four-year prison sentence with an additional restitution payment. The dentist has pushed for a more lenient sentence, requesting 18-month imprisonment, three years supervised release and a full restitution payment of $932,830.
In addition to these criminal penalties, the dentist also surrendered his dental license for life.
What led to the charges? An insurance company conducted an audit. According to the audit, almost 75% of the services billed by the dentist were fraudulent because they were performed by a non-credentialed dentist. The investigation also led to questions about additional services. Although billed, there was no proof to establish the procedures were actually completed.
The dentist states that the bulk of the charges were the result of an honest mistake. He claims the non-credentialed issue was a matter of choosing the wrong code. The defense has also stated that the dentist has chosen to sell his dental practice and use the proceeds to cover his restitution. The team hopes the court will take this “admirable” move into consideration when determining his sentencing.
The case provides an example of defense strategies when dealing with health care fraud charges. The right strategy will depend on the details of the charges. As such, it is wise to contact an attorney experienced in these legal matters to help better ensure a successful outcome.