|November 17, 2015
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of former pediatric dentist, Dr. Howard S. Schneider, 78, for defrauding the Florida Medicaid program.
The MFCU’s investigation revealed that Schneider, the sole owner of Howard S. Schneider, D.D.S. P.A., defrauded Florida Medicaid by submitting claims for dental procedures he performed without parental consent. The procedures allegedly fell below the standard of care and produced unauthorized claims submitted to the Medicaid program for reimbursement.
In conjunction with Schneider’s arrest, the MFCU and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office have an active arrest warrant for one of Schneider’s former dental assistants, LaTosha Bevel-Hillsman, for practicing dentistry without a license, defrauding the Florida Medicaid program and child abuse. Hillsman, 39, allegedly performed an extraction on a pediatric patient; a procedure that Hillsman is not authorized to perform. The investigation revealed that this procedure caused harm to the child and produced unauthorized claims submitted to the Medicaid program for reimbursement.
Schneider faces 11 counts of Medicaid provider fraud of $10,000 or less, a third degree felony. If convicted, Schneider faces up to 55 years in prison and more than $825,000 in fines and restitution. The State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit will prosecute this case. Hillsman faces one count of practicing dentistry without a license, one count of Medicaid provider fraud of $10,000 or less, and one count of child abuse, all third degree felonies. If convicted, Hillsman faces up to 15 years in prison and more than $15,000 in fines and restitution.
Attorney General Bondi’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 fraud involving providers that intentionally defraud the state's Medicaid program through fraudulent billing practices. Medicaid fraud essentially steals from Florida's taxpayers. From January 2011 to October 2015, Attorney General Bondi's MFCU has obtained more than $500 million in settlements and judgments.