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Post date: January 8 2015

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Dentist In Medicaid Theft

Defendant Charged With Filing False Dental Services Claims For Patients He Never Treated

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest of a Manhattan dentist for filing false claims and stealing $11,479 from Medicaid. Howard Rothenberg, 64, of West Nyack, NY, allegedly claimed to have provided services to patients he never met or who he treated only in prior years. The defendant is a licensed, practicing dentist with an office located at 205 East 111th Street in Manhattan.

“The defendant used his profession as a dentist to place personal gain ahead of his ethics and responsibilities to his patients. Although this office prosecutes Medicaid fraud on a regular basis, a doctor who fabricates patients to receive public benefits is particularly appalling,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We will continue to hold accountable those individuals, including licensed professionals, who try to cheat the system at the expense of the public trust.”

From on or about January 1, 2010 to August 20, 2013, the defendant billed, and was paid by Medicaid, for services he falsely claimed to have rendered.  The complaint filed today in court alleges that a patient of the defendant, when interviewed, stated that not only had they not receive the services for which the defendant had billed, but indicated that they had never heard of the defendant.  The charges filed today encompass other patients who, when interviewed, recounted similar experiences.   

The defendant was charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony, and one count of Offering a False Instrument For Filing In the First Degree, a Class E Felony.

The investigation is continuing and it is anticipated that the theft will be greater than $11,479.

The fraud was initially uncovered by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General based upon randomly generated Explanation of Medicaid Benefits from Medicaid recipients.  Further investigation by the Attorney General’s Office confirmed the false filings and theft.

Attorney General Schneiderman thanked the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General for its assistance with this investigation.

The investigation was conducted by Investigator Stanislav Tabakov and Associate Special Auditor-Investigator Lisandra Defex and Principal Special Auditor Investigator Jerome Hosinking. The criminal case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General William J. Wallace with the assistance of Regional Director of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Christopher M. Shaw.  Thomas O’Hanlon is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations – Downstate.  Kenneth Morgan is the MFCU Deputy Chief Investigator Downstate. MFCU is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

The charges in the criminal complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law. 

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