Texas AG Joins Whistleblower Lawsuit Against Dallas Dentist and Dental Clinics
DALLAS — July 9, 2012 — Dallas-based law firm Waters & Kraus, LLP announces that Dr. Christine Ellis has sued Dr. Richard Malouf and several All Smiles clinics, alleging violations of the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act.
Dr. Ellis is represented by Waters & Kraus and Jim Moriarty of Moriarty Leyendecker in Houston. Her lawsuit was recently joined by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
“We at Waters & Kraus are proud to represent Dr. Ellis and to be a part of the fight against dental Medicaid fraud,” said Waters & Kraus attorney Dan Hargrove. “Whistleblowers like Dr. Ellis represent our best chance to fight serious fraud that drains the public funds and puts important services at risk.”
After serving as an auditor for the Office of Inspector General of the Texas Medicaid Program, Dr. Ellis became concerned about dental fraud she had uncovered. Dr. Ellis felt compelled to file the qui tam lawsuit after years of blowing the whistle about the fraud being committed against the Texas Medicaid orthodontics program. Because no one would listen and in order to protect Texas children and taxpayers, she filed the qui tam lawsuit.When she spoke before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee in April, Dr. Ellis testified to a “flagrancy of fraud that is truly unbelievable.”
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants misrepresented to Medicaid the dental and orthodontic treatment they provided, causing Medicaid to overpay them by many millions of dollars. They allegedly submitted claims for services that were not actually provided or were poorly performed, billed for services that were not medically necessary or were more expensive than those actually provided, and unlawfully recruited patients or paid kickbacks to those who did.
Jim Moriarty, of Moriarty Leyendecker, said, “The courage of Dr. Ellis has shown in reporting these allegations deserves the attention and respect of anyone who cares about public health and the responsible stewardship of taxpayers’ funds. We’re honored to work with Waters & Kraus and Dr. Ellis on this important case.”
If the lawsuit is successful, Dr. Ellis will be entitled to 15 to 25 percent of the recovery, in addition to her costs and attorneys’ fees. Whistleblower awards encourage people who know about fraud to come forward. The government relies on citizens like Dr. Ellis to identify and fight fraud.
About Waters & Kraus
Waters & Kraus is a national firm with highly skilled lawyers practicing qui tam whistleblower litigation as well as complex civil litigation in four offices, including Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing whistleblowers in a variety of fraud cases. Contact us or call our attorneys at 800.226.9880 to learn more about our practice and how we can assist.
About Moriarty Leyendecker
Houston-based Moriarty Leyendecker has represented thousands of consumers in cases involving allegations of healthcare fraud, consumer defects, and securities fraud during the past 20 years.