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Post date: October 6 2000

Binghamton Dentist Charged With Medicaid Fraud

Attorney General Spitzer today announced the arrest of a Binghamton dentist for stealing more than $4,000 from taxpayers by falsely billing the Medicaid program.

Dr. John R. Grasso, the owner and president of United Dental Services, Inc., was arraigned today in Broome County Court before Judge Patrick H. Mathews on a 16-count indictment. Grasso is charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, one count of Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, seven counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, and seven counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.

"The taxpayer-funded Medicaid system was designed to assist the less fortunate citizens of our State with their medical needs," said Spitzer. "My Office is committed to aggressively pursuing and prosecuting those medical professionals who steal from the taxpayers of this State."

Between April 1995 and February 1998, it is alleged that Dr. Grasso submitted numerous reimbursement claims for having provided Medicaid patients with dental services - such as periodontal scaling and cleanings - when, in fact, he had falsified the patients' records and, in some cases, had provided no services.

Grasso, 44, lives at 1074 Chenango Street in Binghamton. United Dental Services, Inc. is located at 89-91 Court Street, also in Binghamton.

Special Assistant Attorney General Ralph D. Tortora, III, Director of the Syracuse Regional Office of the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is prosecuting the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

The charges against Dr. Grasso are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.