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Wisconsin dentist found guilty of intentionally damaging patients' teeth: 8 notes

A Wisconsin dentist was found guilty of intentionally damaging patients' teeth before placing a crown to get insurance coverage, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported March 11. 

Eight notes:

1. Scott Charmoli, DDS, who practiced in Jackson, Wis., was charged with eight counts of healthcare fraud and two counts of making false statements related to healthcare in December 2020. 

2. His scheme involved showing patients X-rays of a healthy tooth, but indicating a spot where a crown was needed. He would then use a drill to break the tooth before installing the crown. He would then have X-rays taken of the broken tooth that would accompany an insurance claim.

3. Dr. Charmoli was found to have installed 1,600 crowns over a 20-month period. An executive with an insurance company testified that Wisconsin dentists typically install fewer than six crowns per 100 patients on average, but Dr. Charmoli installed more than 32 per 100 patients in 2019.

4. Dr. Charmoli's scheme was discovered after he sold his practice in 2019, when the new owners reviewed his files and found the number of crowns performed to be out of the ordinary. 

5. Dr. Charmoli was found guilty on seven counts, five of which were related to patients and two charges of making false statements. 

6. He faces up to 20 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for June 17. 

7. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Dr. Charmoli also faces medical malpractice lawsuits by nearly 100 former patients, but those cases have been stayed pending the outcome of the federal prosecution. 

8. His license was suspended in February 2021 pending an investigation by the Wisconsin Dentistry Examining Board.

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