2 Texas dental clinic leaders charged in $6M Medicaid fraud, kickback scheme

A manager and operator of a Houston dental clinic have been charged in a $6 million Medicaid fraud and kickback scheme, the Justice Department said Aug. 18.

Rene Fernandez Gaviola, 65, and Ifeanyi Ndubisi Ozoh, 51, were the operator and manager of Floss Family Dental Care, respectively. 

Mr. Gaviola and other employees allegedly submitted false claims to Medicaid for dental services that were not provided, the Justice Department said. The defendants are also accused of paying kickbacks to marketers and caregivers of child Medicare recipients to bring them to the dental practice. Additionally, Mr. Gaviola is accused of billing Medicaid for services provided by an unlicensed individual and laundering more than $100,000 in Medicaid funds from the dental practice's bank account into his personal bank.

The dental practice allegedly billed Medicaid for nearly $6.9 million from 2019-2021, the Justice Department said.

Mr. Gaviola and Ozoh face up to five years in federal prison for conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks. Mr. Gaviola also faces up to 10 years for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and for each count of healthcare fraud and money laundering. The charges carry a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

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