Two dentists pay $3.1M for allegedly filing false claims for services not provided to underprivileged children

Dallas — Two North Texas dentists, their dental management companies and affiliated pediatric dental practices paid $3.1 million to resolve allegations that they defrauded the Texas Medicaid program and violated the False Claims Act.

“These defendants knowingly defrauded Medicaid, a program that provides medical coverage for more than 4 million low-income Texans,” said Prerak Shah, acting U.S. Attorney of the Northern District of Texas in a U.S. Department of Justice news release published May 14. “If they thought they could get away with this scam by targeting underprivileged populations, they were sorely mistaken.”

Gunjan Dhir, D.D.S., and Gaurav Puri, D.D.S., have owned and operated dental clinics and dental management companies throughout Texas since 2009, according to the release. The clinics serve primarily low-income children enrolled in the Texas Medicaid program.

This settlement resolves allegations that between May 30, 2011, and May 30, 2017, Drs. Dhir and Puri, their affiliated management companies and pediatric dental clinics submitted or caused the submission of false claims for payment to the Texas Medicaid Program for fillings that were not actually performed.

The settlement also resolves allegations that they submitted or caused the submission of claims using erroneous Medicaid provider numbers that misrepresented the dentists performing the procedures.

Part of the allegations were filed under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by former employees of the dental management companies and practices.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.

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