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Post date: August 5 2003

Monroe County Dentist Admits To $90,000 Fraud And Practicing Dentistry Without A License

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a former Brighton dentist who lost his dental license after being convicted earlier this year on federal health fraud charges has admitted to practicing dentistry without a license and stealing nearly $90,000 from taxpayers by fraudulently billing the state Medicaid program for dental services never provided to patients.

Dr. Richard Levin, 49, of Pittsford, was arraigned today in Monroe County Court before Judge Patricia D. Marks and pleaded guilty as charged to one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and one count of Unauthorized Practice of a Profession. Levin also agreed to make full restitution of $88,096 to the Medicaid program.

According to prosecutors, on January 17, 2003, Dr. Levin was sentenced in federal court after being convicted on one count of Health Care Fraud (in violation of Title 18, section 1347 of the United States Code) to five years’ probation, including six months of home detention and 200 hours of community services. Dr. Levin was also required to pay approximately $138,515 in restitution to Excellus Health Care, Inc., and surrender his dental license.

According to the state charges filed today, between January 1, 1995, and November 21, 2002, Dr. Levin fraudulently submitted claims to Medicaid for various dental services, such as fillings and tooth extractions, that were never provided to patients. In addition, Dr. Levin did not receive prior approval from the state Health Department for some of the procedures for which he submitted reimbursement claims, as is required by the state Medicaid program. Lastly, following the surrender of his dental license on March 1, 2003, Dr. Levin continued to unlawfully practice dentistry.

Sentencing is set for August 29, at which time Dr. Levin is expected to be sentenced to one year in jail on the grand larceny charge and three months in jail on the unauthorized practice charge. The sentences will run consecutively to each other, and concurrently with a federal prison sentence Dr. Levin will receive for violating his probation.

Spitzer thanked the United States Probation Service for the Western District of New York for its cooperation during the course of the investigation.

Dr. Levin formerly maintained offices at 2030 Monroe Avenue in Brighton.

Special Assistant Attorney General Timothy J. McFarland, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Rochester Regional Office, prosecuted the case. Assisting in the investigation was Supervising Special Investigator Douglas Hinchey and Associate Special Auditor Investigator Michael L. Warfield.