Dentist used paper clips in root canals as part of fraudulent Medicare scam
Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A former Fall River, Massachusetts, dentist has pleaded guilty to bilking the Medicaid system out of $130,000, illegally prescribing prescription drugs, intimidating a witness, and committing assault and battery. CBS Connecticut reports that Michael Clair had been running a third-rate dental practice in which he was substituting stainless steel posts with paper clips during root canal procedures on his patients.
Before the expiration of his most recent dental license in 2008, Clair apparently had a long history of fraud. He reportedly had dental licenses revoked in numerous states including Florida, West Virginia, and Maryland according to The Herald News. And his most recent crime spree at Harbour Dental, located in the New Harbour Mall in Fall River, is definitely no exception.
Clair's practice, if you can even call it that, was suspended from participating in the Medicaid program back in 2002 for unstated reasons. But reports indicate that he continued to bill Medicaid through June 2005, garnering $130,000 in illegal reimbursements between August 2003 and June 2005. Clair also illegally submitted Medicaid claims under the names of other dentists working in his practice as well.
Clair has also been charged with illegally prescribing drugs like hydrocodone, Combunox, and Percocet to his fellow staff members, only to have those same staff members give the medicine back to him. And his use of paper clips rather than surgical steel during root canals takes the cake as far as greed and reckless endangerment of patients is concerned.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley told FOX 25 News in Boston that Clair's entire case "paints a picture of someone who shouldn't be practicing dentistry in Massachusetts, or anywhere else for that matter." But based on his extensive record of repeated and continual fraud, this assessment hardly seems to go far enough.
On Jan. 30, 2012, Clair will face Superior Court Judge Richard Moses on two counts of assault and battery for the paper clip fiasco, three counts of larceny, five counts of Medicaid fraud, three counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances, and one count of tampering with evidence and intimidating a witness. If convicted, Clair could spend 15 years or more in prison for these crimes.
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