Missouri dentist, wife charged with burning down practice in fraud scheme

A grand jury charged former Mt. Vernon, Mo., dentist Thomas Alms, DDS, and his wife, Laura Alms, with arson for allegedly setting fire to Dr. Alms' dentistal practice Jan. 2, 2018, and later filing the arson as an accident, according to the Lawrence County Record.

Dr. Alms and his wife collected $25,000 in damages from their insurance company, according to a criminal complaint. Ms. Alms has also been accused of witness tampering. A criminal complaint claims she told two witnesses to not speak to law enforcement about the fire.

The dentist has also been accused of fraudulently billing an insurance company for services never performed, the Lawrence County Record reports.

In a probable cause complaint, Dr. Alms is accused of billing an insurance company $1,049 for a patient's two root canals, X-rays and oral exam. However, the patient claims he was only given a re-crown and an antibiotic prescription.

An insurance company paid $796.50 for the billed work, leaving the patient with the rest to pick up. After reviewing the explanation of benefits, the patient noticed the procedures for which he was charged were never performed. The patient had to seek assistance from an outside dental practice to prove through an X-ray that the work Dr. Alms claimed he performed was never done.

Dr. Alms and Ms. Alms appeared before a grand jury April 8. The two posted bail and are scheduled to reappear in court May 13, according to the report.

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