Former North Carolina Dentist Sentenced to Prison for Medicaid Fraud
May 28, 2013 — Medicaid fraud by unscrupulous dentists is a difficult problem everywhere in America. To confront the challenge, prosecutors and investigators depend on state and federal False Claims Acts. In fact, the False Claims Act empowers dental clinic professionals and staff to take the law into their own hands. The qui tam language of the federal False Claims Act permits private individuals with knowledge of false Medicaid claims to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government. Whistleblowers keep a share of the government’s recovery to reward them for their courage in coming forward to collaborate with the government.
False Claims to Medicaid Lead to Criminal Punishment for North Carolina Dentist
In April 2011, Sassan Bassiri of Pfafftown, North Carolina, lost his license to practice dentistry in the State of North Carolina. But the dentist’s license revocation was not the end of his woes. Bassiri has pleaded guilty to Medicaid and health care fraud charges arising out of the former dentist’s actions to defraud the North Carolina State Medicaid program.
According to Dig Triad, Bassiri made false claims to Medicaid for fitting patients with expensive cast metal dentures, when in reality, less costly dentures were provided. In addition, Bassiri billed Medicaid for performing extensive oral examinations on Medicaid patients who actually were given treatment that either was non-billable or had already been reimbursed by Medicaid.
Bassiri was ordered to make $68,795.65 in restitution to Medicaid and to pay a $10,000 fine. Further, he was sentenced to five months in prison.
Dental Clinic Informants Help Fight False Claims to Medicaid
It is not always easy to notify the government when an employer is bilking Medicaid or any other federal or state healthcare program. In this economy, people rely on their jobs to help take care of their families. Fortunately, the qui tam language of the False Claims Act gives informants substantial legal rights. The whistleblower lawyers with Waters & Kraus are here to protect tipsters’ interests. Contact us by email or call our experienced attorneys at 800.226.9880 to discuss our dental Medicaid fraud practice and how we can assist you.