A Wisconsin dentist has been accused of purposefully damaging his patients’ teeth in a fraudulent scheme to obtain insurance money for crown procedures.
Scott Charmoli, 60, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on multiple accounts of health care fraud and false statements relating to health care matters, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin Matthew D. Krueger announced this week in a press release.
Charmoli, who lives in Grafton, Wisconsin, allegedly began his scheme in January 2016 by falsely advising patients that they needed crowns.
He would then allegedly damage the patients’ teeth during the crown procedure and use photos and X-rays of that damage to obtain insurance coverage for the crowns, the indictment alleges.
“The indictment asserts that by submitting X-rays and photographs of teeth he had purposefully altered, Charmoli made materially false and fraudulent statements to insurance companies in connection with the delivery of, and payment for, health care benefits,” Krueger’s press release states.
Charmoli allegedly performed more than $2 million worth of crown procedures between January 1, 2018, and August 7, 2019 alone.
“The Justice Department focuses on prosecuting health care fraud not only to protect health care funds but also to protect patients who entrust their well being to providers,” Krueger said in a statement.
Charmoli could face up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, up to a $250,000 fine and $100 special assessment if he is convicted, the DOJ said.
The dentist is scheduled for arraignment and a plea hearing on December 30, ABC News reported. Charmoli’s attorney could not immediately be reached by PEOPLE.
Have you ever thought about how many insurance scams like this actually take place in doctors’ and dentists’ offices across the country? It probably happens all the time.