The 61-year-old dentist reportedly gave his patients more crowns for their teeth than 95 per cent of other dentists in the state from 2016 to 2019. He convinced patients they needed crowns by showing them X-rays of a healthy tooth, but then highlighting a line or spot. The dentist would tell them it indicated a fracture or decay and that they needed crowns. Because patients regarded him as an expert, they accepted his false representations and agreed to the crown procedure.
The 61-year-old doctor from Wisconsin, Scott Charmoli, was convicted of five counts of health care fraud and two counts of making a false statement about his patients’ treatment, the New York Post reports.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the 61-year-old dentist will face up to 10 years for each fraud count and a maximum of five years for each of the false statement counts.
Prosecutors said the dentist reportedly gave his patients more crowns for their teeth than 95 per cent of other dentists in Wisconsin from 2016 to 2019.
According to the Washington Post, the 61-year-old dentist reportedly made $1.4million in 2014 by placing 434 crowns, $2.5million in 2015 by fitting more than 1,000 crowns. He reportedly placed more than 1,600 crowns over a 20-month period from January 1, 2018 to August 7, 2019.
Per reports, the 61-year-old dentist reportedly sold his dentistry in 2019 to Dr. Major and at that point, Charmoli’s records revealed that his crown placement numbers were exceedingly high.
Dr. Pako Major released the following statement: “I felt the ethical obligation to report activity that I believed to be suspicious. The health and safety of patients is my highest concern as a doctor. As medical professionals, we take an oath to ‘do no harm’ to our patients.”
Dr. Major also said that his patients would not receive further care from Charmoli, saying dental care should be built on a foundation of honesty and earned trust.
Prosecutors said that the 61-year-old defendant convinced patients they needed crowns by showing them X-rays of a healthy tooth, but then highlighting a line or spot. Charmoli would tell them it indicated a fracture or decay and that they needed crowns. Because patients regarded Charmoli as an expert, they accepted his false representations and agreed to the crown procedure.
After that, the 61-year-old dentist would break the tooth and have the X-rays retaken to show the broken tooth. Those X-rays would be used to file a claim to insurance companies. Crown procedures typically are not covered fully under dental insurance, so patients had significant co-pays.
Charmoli reportedly made false statements to insurance companies when the initial crown claims were denied and he would send the broken tooth X-rays.
Prosecutors said the 61-year-old dentist reportedly billed more than $4.2million for crowns between 2016 and 2019. By the end of 2020, the dentist had assets worth more than $6.8million, and owned various properties in Wisconsin and Arizona, according to prosecutors. His dentistry license was revoked in February 2021 due to pending disciplinary actions.