Attorney General Ashley Moody News Release
|March 5, 2021
Contact: Kylie Mason
Phone: (850) 245-0150
|en Español||Print Version||Tweet|
Dental Hygienist Practicing as Unlicensed Dentist Arrested for Medicaid Fraud
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Miami-Dade Police Department today arrested a dental hygienist illegally practicing as an unlicensed dentist for committing Medicaid fraud. Julio Suarez allegedly performed unlicensed and unauthorized procedures on patients, defrauding the Medicaid program out of more than $8,000.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “It is utterly despicable that a health care professional would knowingly deceive trusting patients about their licenses and credentials in order to practice unlawful dental procedures. To further use that deception to scam the Medicaid program out of thousands of taxpayer dollars is inexcusable and criminal. I am proud of my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for investigating these crimes and putting an end to this illegal dental scheme.”
For more than two years, Suarez allegedly worked as an unlicensed dentist for Art Dental Services, Inc. While employed at Art Dental, Suarez knowingly performed unlicensed dental services and procedures on unwitting and unsuspecting patients. Suarez then billed the unlicensed services to the Medicaid program. By performing and billing these unlicensed dental procedures, Suarez fraudulently caused the Medicaid program to pay more than $8,000.
To view the redacted PCA, click here.
Julio Suarez is charged with one count of Medicaid fraud, a second-degree felony and one count of grand theft, a third-degree felony. If convicted, Suarez faces up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution will prosecute the case.
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The Florida Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigates allegations of patient abuse, neglect and exploitation in facilities receiving payments under the Medicaid program. Additionally, the MFCU investigates and prosecutes providers that intentionally defraud the state's Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida's taxpayers.
The Florida MFCU is funded through a grant totaling $26,329,510 for Federal Fiscal Year 2021, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—Office of Inspector General. The Federal Share of these funds is 75% totaling $19,747,136. The State Matching Share of these funds is 25% totaling $6,582,374, and is funded by Florida.