A.G. Schneiderman Announces 5-Month Jail Sentence For Unlicensed Dentist Following “Operation Toothache”

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2017

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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES 5-MONTH JAIL SENTENCE FOR UNLICENSED DENTIST FOLLOWING “OPERATION TOOTHACHE” 

Alexander Hollander Continued Practicing Dentistry After Losing His Dental License In 2000 For Defrauding Medicaid 

Hollander Also Ordered To Serve 5 Years’ Probation And Pay $10,000 Fine 

Schneiderman: My Office Is Committed To Rooting Out Fraud And Shutting Down Unscrupulous Medical Professionals Who Put New Yorkers At Risk

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Alexander Hollander, of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced in Kings County Supreme Court to five months in jail and an additional five years of probation, and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, after being found guilty by a jury for Unauthorized Practice of a Profession (Dentistry), a Class E Felony. Through an undercover investigation—coined “Operation Toothache”—that ultimately led to the defendant’s conviction, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) discovered that, despite losing his license to practice dentistry following an earlier conviction for fraud, Hollander continued to practice dentistry in Brooklyn. Hollander lost his license to practice dentistry in June 2000, following his conviction for Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, Perjury in the First Degree, and other felonies involving Medicaid fraud. As part of the prior case, which was also handled by MFCU, Hollander was ordered to repay the State Medicaid program $320,000 dollars – $140,000 of which he still owes the State.    

“For years, the defendant repeatedly stole from our healthcare system and gambled with his patient’s wellbeing. Now he’ll face the consequences,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office is committed to rooting out fraud and shutting down unlicensed and unscrupulous medical professionals who put New Yorkers at risk.”

MCFU, in an effort to collect restitution funds Hollander still owed the State, discovered he was working at the 7th Avenue Dental Office. On April 19, 2013, MFCU sent an undercover investigator into the defendant’s office as a patient. When asked by the undercover investigator if he was a dentist, Hollander affirmed that he was, and provided the investigator with a business card that listed his professional title as Clinical Director and Doctor of Dental Surgery and included numerous dental procedures he could provide.

During a second undercover visit on May 9, 2013, Hollander assisted the investigator with paperwork before asking him to wait while he treated another patient. While waiting, the undercover investigator video recorded and observed Hollander, who was wearing a lab shirt and plastic gloves, treating another patient in an adjoining examination room. Hollander later invited the investigator into the same examination room and discussed treatment and x-rays with the investigator. Immediately following a third undercover visit to the defendant’s office on May 30, 2013, the defendant was placed under arrest and subsequently indicted.

Under the New York State Education Law, only a person licensed to practice dentistry can practice dentistry, hold themselves out as a dentist, or use the title “dentist.” As a condition of his sentence for violating this law, Hollander, 70, will not be able to receive money from Medicaid directly or indirectly while on probation.

MFCU’s investigation was conducted by Special Investigators Shavaun Clawson and Alexander Kats with the assistance of Supervising Investigator Victor Maldonado and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. MFCU’s audit investigation was conducted by Principal Auditor Investigator Cristina Marin with the assistance of NYC Deputy Chief Regional Auditor Jonathan Romano and Regional Chief Auditor Thomasina Smith.

Special Assistant Attorneys General Felicia Berenson-Reinhardt and Jonathan S. Reiner prosecuted the case. Twan Bounds is the Deputy Regional Director and Christopher M. Shaw is the Regional Director of MFCU’s New York City Office.

Special Assistant Attorney General Thomas O’Hanlon is the MFCU Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney.

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