Wisconsin Dentist Convicted of Fraud After Intentionally Breaking Patients Teeth For Insurance Claims
For anyone who is intimidated by going to the dentist this story is sure to cause some extra anxiety although thankfully this is not the norm and this particular dentist has been caught and will not be able to subject any more patients with is unethical practices.
61 Scott Charmoli of Grafton Wisconsin was indicted back in 2020 on five fraud charges related to four patients, and two charges of making false statements related to two of the same patients. Prosecutors say Charmoli intentionally damaged his patients' teeth before he did any work, resulting in them needing a crown some of which would be covered by insurance.
For anyone who has had to get a crown, they are very expensive and insurance does not cover the entire cost forcing the patient to pay a significant copay. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, "Charmoli attached more than 1,600 crowns over a 20-month period. An executive with an insurance company testified that, on average, Wisconsin dentists installed fewer than six crowns per 100 patients, but that in 2019, Charmoli's rate exceeded 32 per 100 patients."
His scheme came to light after he sold his practice back in 2019. He is also facing medical malpractice lawsuits in Washington County by almost 100 former patients whose cases have been put on hold pending this federal prosecution case.
Apparently, this former dentist would show his patients an x-ray of their tooth and point out a spot or line indicating that the tooth was decayed and they would need a crown on that particular tooth or teeth. Believing the dentist the patient agreed to the procedure. Then after breaking the tooth Charmoli would take another X-ray that he would later claim and send to the Insurance Companies.
Charmoli's license to practice dentistry in Wisconsin has been suspended since February 2021 pending an investigation by the state's Dentistry Examining Board. He now faces up to 20 years in prison, His sentencing is scheduled for June 17.