Wisconsin dentist accused of intentionally chipping teeth so he could fix them

A Wisconsin dentist has been charged with healthcare fraud after allegedly breaking teeth intentionally so he could cap them and charge the insurance company, according to a public indictment cited by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Scott Charmoli, DDS, of Hartford (Wis.) Family Dental Care is charged with eight counts of healthcare fraud and two counts of making false statements related to healthcare, according to the indictment.

From Jan. 1, 2018, to Aug. 7, 2019, the dentist billed insurance companies for more than $2 million for crowns, an average of about 80 crowns per month, according to the indictment.

Dr. Charmoli is accused of showing some patients an X-ray of a healthy tooth, but pointing at a line or spot that he would claim was a fracture or decay, and that a crown was needed. Then the dentist would use his drill "to break off a portion, most often a cusp, of a patient's tooth," according to the indictment.

After breaking the tooth, Dr. Charmoli would have X-rays taken that would accompany an insurance claim, according to the indictment. He did not generally receive full reimbursement for the claims he submitted. Patients often paid charges that were not covered by insurance.

If convicted, Dr. Charmoli faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

The indictment doesn't claim that all procedures performed by Dr. Charmoli were fraudulent. Dr. Charmoli and his attorney did not respond to the Journal Sentinel's requests for comment.

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