Dentist And Spouse Charged With Stealing From Medicaid
Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Westchester dentist and his wife have been charged with stealing more than $250,000 from the Medicaid program. In addition to criminal charges, the Attorney General’s office has filed a lawsuit against the couple seeking treble damages – civil penalties of three times the amount of the larceny.
Charged were Robert Alonso, 45, a pediatric dentist practicing in New York City and Westchester, and his wife Emilia Alonso, 46, both of 40 Hallocks Run, Somers. On December 7, they appeared before Judge Douglas M. Kraus in Justice Court of New Castle where they were both charged with Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison.
According to the felony complaint, from May 15, 2000 to October 1, 2006, Emilia Alonso billed Medicaid for dental services that she falsely claimed her husband, Robert Alonso, had performed on children, including routine services such as cleanings and x-rays, as well as gingivectomies and oral surgeries. It is alleged that, as part of the scheme, the defendants claimed that Robert Alonso had provided services to children, including children suffering from serious medical conditions, when, in fact, there were some children he had never examined. In addition, according to the complaint, the defendants fraudulently billed for services they claimed Robert Alonso provided on dates when he was out of the country and traveling to locations including New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, Switzerland and Spain.
A related civil lawsuit filed by the Attorney General seeks asset forfeiture from Robert and Emilia Alonso and seeks repayment of three times the amount fraudulently billed. Altogether, the civil complaint seeks more than $1 million from the Alonsos.
The charges against Robert and Emilia Alonso are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Special Assistant Attorney General Dana A. Roth, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Pearl River Regional Office, is prosecuting the case. Special Investigator Dennis Johnston, Senior Special Investigator Frank Bluszcz, Supervising Auditor Investigator Jean Moss and Associate Special Auditor Investigator Sandra Iskowitz are assisting in the investigation. Special Assistant Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney is handling the civil litigation.