Attorney General James Announces Conviction of Former Fugitive Dentist for Medicaid Fraud

Dawer Nadi Receives 4 and 1/3 to 10 Years Imprisonment Sentence and Ordered to
Pay More Than $27,000 in Restitution After Second Conviction for Fraud and Related Crimes

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today announced the conviction and sentencing of Dawer Nadi, 63, of Long Island, for defrauding New York state by submitting false Medicaid claims for dental services after his dental license was revoked. Nadi was convicted last month of grand larceny, unauthorized practice of dentistry, and several counts of filing false Medicaid claims, and sentenced today to 4 and 1/3 to 10 years imprisonment and ordered to pay $27,768.42 in restitution. Nadi’s New York dental license was revoked in January 2011, following a previous conviction from the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in March 2005 for fraudulently overbilling Medicaid for dental services. Today’s sentencing concludes an investigation started by the OAG's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) in 2011 upon learning that Nadi continued to practice dentistry notwithstanding the revocation of his license. He was arrested last year after being a fugitive since 2012.

“Dawer Nadi’s illegal practices put the health and safety of New Yorkers at risk, while cheating our state in the process,” said Attorney General James. “For years, Nadi used New York’s Medicaid program as his personal piggybank and provided dental services without a medical license. He attempted to evade accountability, but today, the justice system has finally caught up with him. On my watch, no one will be allowed to line his own pockets with public funds, and we will fight tooth and nail for the wellbeing of all New Yorkers.”

Following his first conviction in 2005, Nadi was barred from participating as a health care provider in the Medicaid program — a sanction known as “exclusion” — and was prohibited from receiving payment for treating Medicaid patients. At the time, Nadi agreed to pay the state restitution totaling $400,000 for the false claims he filed, but that debt remains unpaid. In January 2011, based on the 2005 conviction, Nadi’s license to practice dentistry in New York state was revoked and he was prohibited from practicing dentistry altogether.

In early 2011, OAG detectives learned that Nadi was still practicing dentistry on Long Island and treating Medicaid patients. A subsequent investigation led to Nadi’s arrest later that year and his indictment in 2012. After his arrest, Nadi fled to Afghanistan where he set up a dental practice. While an arrest warrant was issued for Nadi, the United States does not have an extradition treaty with Afghanistan and Nadi remained a fugitive until last year. In March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread worldwide, Nadi left Afghanistan and attempted to re-enter the United States. He was arrested on March 21, 2020 upon his arrival at JFK International Airport, and thereafter arraigned on the 2012 indictment.

Today, before the Honorable John B. Collins in Suffolk County Supreme Court, Nadi was sentenced on his conviction after a jury trial of: Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony; Unauthorized Practice of a Profession, a class E felony; and eight counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, all class E felonies. The court imposed a sentence of 4 and 1/3 to 10 years imprisonment and ordered the defendant to pay $27,768.42 in restitution.

MFCU’s investigation was led by Detective John Tarpey, with the assistance of Supervising Detective Ronald Lynch, under the supervision of Deputy Chief Investigator-Downstate Kenneth Morgan. The underlying financial analysis was completed by Senior Auditor-Investigator Kizzy-Ann Waldropt and Auditor-Investigator Kristen Bucki, with the assistance of Principal Auditor-Investigator Mary-Ann Carney, NYC Regional Chief Auditor Thomasina Smith and Hauppauge Regional Chief Auditor Gretchen Hugh. Legal Assistants Allison Gionta and Anne Liptak and IT Systems Analyst Doreen Lankowicz also assisted with the trial preparation.

The criminal case was tried by Special Assistant Attorneys General Peter Zadek and Stephen McCahey, with assistance from NYC Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. Thomas O’Hanlon is MFCU’s Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney. The Division for Criminal Justice is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado and is overseen by First Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Levy.

Reporting Medicaid Provider Fraud: MFCU defends the public by addressing Medicaid provider fraud and protecting nursing home residents from abuse and neglect. If an individual believes they have information about Medicaid provider fraud or about an incident of abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident, they can file a confidential complaint online on the OAG website or by calling the MFCU hotline at (800) 771-7755. If the situation is an emergency, please call 911.

MFCU’s total funding for federal fiscal year (FY) 2021 is $53,413,761. Of that total, 75 percent — or $40,060,324 — is awarded under a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Health Services. The remaining 25 percent of the approved grant — totaling $13,353,437 for FY 2021 — is funded by New York state. Through its recoveries in law enforcement actions, MFCU regularly returns more to the state than it receives in state funding.

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