Brooklyn Dentist Ordered To Give Up License And Repay $320,000 To State And Patients

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Brooklyn dentist, convicted in a Medicaid scam, was ordered to immediately surrender his dental license and repay $300,000 to the State Medicaid program and $20,000 to patients. Dr. Alexander Hollander was convicted of billing the Medicaid program for dental services that were never provided and for lying before a grand jury investigating the false billings.

Appearing earlier this week in Brooklyn Supreme Court before Justice Michael R. Juviler, Hollander, who pleaded guilty in January to all counts of a 36-count felony indictment, was also sentenced to 5 years' probation.

Attorney General Spitzer said, "The Medicaid program was designed to assist the poor with their medical needs. It is therefore inexcusable for this Medicaid provider to have billed for dental services never provided, and, in some cases, to have demanded cash from patients for procedures that were not only covered under Medicaid but for which he received reimbursement. My Office is committed to making sure that all monies improperly received are returned to both the Medicaid program and patients."

At sentencing, prosecutors had requested that Hollander be sentenced to 2 to 6 years in prison after it was discovered that he had lied on his financial disclosure form by failing to reveal assets of more than $100,000 he kept in various brokerage and bank accounts, as well as a time share he owned on the island of St. Maarten. Hollander had been requested to fill out the financial disclosure form after claiming he did not have sufficient assets to make restitution.

Hollander, who practiced in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn and catered to a mostly poor, immigrant population, was one of four dentists arrested last July in a Medicaid scam that dated back to 1989. The dentists were charged with filing reimbursement claims for dental services that they never provided. Hollander was also charged with defrauding

Medicaid patients by telling them that they had to pay cash for certain dental services - often as much as $400 -- because they were not covered by the Medicaid program when, in fact, they were.

Initially, Hollander, who emigrated from Russia, submitted bogus claims under the provider numbers of other dentists until he became a licensed dentist in New York in 1992. Later, he submitted phony bills under his own number and that of another dentist in his practice until shortly after the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit executed a search warrant at his dental office in 1997. Thereafter, Hollander continued the fraud by submitting false claims under the provider numbers of other dentists that he recruited to work for him.

Appearing before a Brooklyn grand jury in April 1999, Hollander denied having made chart entries reflecting the performance of dental services never provided and thereafter billing Medicaid for the services. He also denied having asked another dentist to make false entries in patient charts reflecting that services had been performed on dates other than when the dentist had actually treated the patients.

Attorney General Spitzer noted that the other 3 dentists arrested with Hollander have all been convicted for their participation in the scheme.

Hollander, 52, of 56-42 Cloverdale Boulevard in Bayside, Queens, operated European Professional Offices, Inc., and European Dental Association LLC, both located at 5001 Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn.

The case was handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Arlene S. Osterer, of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jose Maldonado.