June 3, 2014 — Pasco, Florida dentist Miranda Smith has been criminally charged with alleged Medicaid fraud in connection with her practice at Smiles and Giggles Dentistry. The fraud allegedly amounted to more than $140,000. Fraudulent Medicaid filings by unscrupulous dental providers injure taxpayers, who bear the cost, and patients, who sometimes receive poor care. Under the False Claims Act, dental clinic workers are encouraged to collaborate with the government by filing a whistleblower lawsuit on the government’s behalf. The qui tam provisions in the statute provide conscientious insider informants with a handsome share of the government’s recovery.
Dentist’s License Suspended; Criminal Charges for $144,000 in Dental Medicaid Fraud Followed
Between January 2010 and December 2012, Smith allegedly filed false claims with Florida’s Medicaid program for dental procedures that were never performed, patient sedations that Smith was not licensed to perform and X-rays that had not been taken.
In addition to the Medicaid fraud charges, it was also reported that Smith allegedly sedated children to drill out and fill nonexistent cavities. Unlicensed office workers allegedly performed procedures that should only be performed by a dentist. When procedures were unsuccessful, patients were allegedly told that they couldn’t be helped.
On May 16, Smith’s license to practice was suspended by the Florida Department of Health’s Board of Dentistry. If convicted on the criminal charges, Smith could receive a ten-year prison sentence and as much as $10,000 in fines.
Working to Stop Dental Medicaid Fraud
Government investigators cannot catch all the dental Medicaid fraud that occurs. As in this case, clinic insiders often tip off authorities to alleged fraudulent billing. Still, it’s rarely easy to blow the whistle on an employer or coworker. Waters & Kraus has dental Medicaid fraud lawyers in Dallas, Los Angeles and the Washington D. C. area who are focused on whistleblowers’ best interests. Contact us by email or call us at 855. 784. 0268 to learn how we can protect your rights and safeguard public healthcare programs like Medicaid.