A Glendale man was sentenced to three-plus years in prison for stealing the identities of at least 11 dentists and filing fraudulent claims to banks that offer lines of credit to dentists, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.
Ararat Yesayan, 39, was ordered to pay $2.1 million in restitution. In May he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
From October 2010 to March 2014, Yesayan and co-conspirators impersonated dentists via personal identifying information such as dental license numbers, according to the Department of Justice statement.
Those involved in the conspiracy acquired commercial office space in the names of victim dentists using this personal information, and then submitted change of address requests to the Dental Board of California. Mail was sent to the newly opened sham offices, among them offers for lines of credit.
“Using the victim dentists’ names, Yesayan and others applied for lines of credit offered by banks to dentists and, upon approval, submitted numerous fraudulent dental claims in the names of fake patients for procedures that were never performed,” the Department of Justice said in its statement.
Once the claims were approved by the banks, money was wired to Yesayan-controlled bank accounts. Banks affected include Citibank and GE Capital Retail Finance Bank, now Synchrony Bank.
Two other Glendale men were allegedly involved in the scheme, Varooj Arakelian, 49, and Artin Sarkissians, 42. Arakelian is scheduled to go on trial June 23.
Tina Felshaw of Coeur d’Alene, ID, might be someone to watch out for. Tina, who also sometimes goes by the name Tina Tevebaugh, pled guilty in 2018 in Spokane, WA to felony identity theft.
In a separate offense, Tina was also found guilty in Spokane of felony theft of over $5,000 and was sentenced to 12 months of probation and ordered to make restitution of just under $7,000.
Tina has also had a couple of motor vehicle violations in the years 2014-2015 where, notably, she did not pay the fines assessed and the court had to send them to collection agencies.
Tina declared bankruptcy in 2012 and again in 2015.
Tina has reportedly has worked at several dental offices in the Spokane / Coeur d’Alene area, and we are told that some of her part employment relationships may have ended abruptly.
Tina contacted us by email in August 2019 and asked that her post be removed from our website. Her request implied both that she is still working in the dental field and that her current employer is unaware of her past.
Timothy Powell, 52, of Plantation, FL, has new $41,000 teeth and an almost $10,000 dog.
He paid for none of it.
One of his victims, a man by the name of Harry Brenner, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, police said.
The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Powell used stolen identification to rack up the fraudulent charges for the teeth implants and the pet.
He applied for credit to get his teeth fixed through the Friedman Dental Group and filled out credit card applications Aug. 1, according to court documents.
Powell produced a fake Connecticut driver’s license with the name Harry Brenner. He also provided Brenner’s social security number.
The credit applications were approved, and Powell received dental implants during three appointments from Aug. 2 to Aug. 9, documents show. The implants were not completed and some of his teeth were only temporary, he said.
In total, the procedure costed $41,154.01.
Shortly after, Brenner, who lives in DeBary, FL, began receiving bills from the dental company and alerted police.
Investigators with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Friedman Dental Group and later identified Powell as a suspect through fingerprints from his applications.
Police later found out that Powell used Brenner’s identity to purchase a French bulldog for $9,958.69 from Petland in Plantation, FL.
Powell told the police he was given Brenner’s information by a man named “Rico,” who also provided him with the fake driver’s license.
He said Rico encouraged him to get his teeth fixed at the Friedman Dental Group and drove him to and from the place. Rico told him that if he got his teeth fixed, he’d “look better for conducting fraudulent transactions at other locations in Florida.”
Investigators received photos from the dental company showing Powell with damaged and rotting teeth.
He said that Rico got Brenner’s information from the “dark web.”
Powell also fraudulently withdrew $9,650 from a bank in Daytona Beach, FL, on Sept. 27, using the name “Larry Gene Kelly,” according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.
He told authorities that he purchased Kelly’s identification from an “unknown male” for $100.
Powell is charged with grand theft, using ID without consent and false report of a crime. He is also charged with unauthorized possession of a driver’s license and fraudulent use of personal identification, among other charges.
SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) —
Help Sugar Land Police take a bite out of crime and identify a man whose smiling face isn’t exactly what it appears to be.
The man, police say, used a stolen identity to try and get $45,000 worth of new teeth.
In late November, he showed up at Smile Texas and was pre-approved by two lenders. According to the dentist’s office, he showed an ID. He filled out the paperwork. He even had X-rays and dental molds made.
“He was eager to get it done quickly,” said Elsa Horn, Smile Texas’ finance coordinator. “No alarms. He had everything set up ahead of time. Our patients can go online ahead of time and be pre-approved for financing.”
But he didn’t show up the day of the surgery. When the dental office tried to contact him, they learned he wasn’t who he said he was.
The best piece of evidence against him, other than his dental records, is his smiling face. Police are hoping this shot helps lead to his arrest.
“We’re hoping to get his picture out, get him on the news, and get him identified,” said Sergeant Matt Levan. “You see him smiling in the picture, and he does need a little bit of work on his teeth. ”
We did reach out the man whose identity was stolen. He did not return our requests for comment.
A couple has been charged with identity theft for allegedly using a woman’s personal information to obtain treatment at a dental office in Hillsborough, court documents state. Above is a Sept. 2011 file photo of a man having a cavity filled.
HILLSBOROUGH — A man and his girlfriend are facing identity theft charges after allegedly using his ex-wife’s personal information to receive treatment last year at a Hillsborough dental office, court documents state.
John Turner, 48, and Tina Babich, 47, both with last known addresses in Wildwood, are accused of visiting the dental office between July 10 and 12, 2013, to obtain a root canal for Babich, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court in Somerville. The couple were charged on Thursday.
At the time, Babich identified herself by Turner’s ex-wife’s name and provided the other woman’s Social Security number, date of birth, insurance information and place of employment, the affidavit states. Turner used his real name, but identified Babich by his ex-wife’s name, the affidavit states.
The dental office performed a partial root canal on Babich, but the ex-wife, who lives in Florida, later told the police no one, including Turner, had “her permission or authorization to give her personal information to obtain dental/medical benefits,” the affidavit states.
A witness from the dental office also identified Babich as someone who worked there for about a week several years earlier, the affidavit states.
Authorities have been unable to locate Turner and Babich, according to the affidavit.
A dentist pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges alleging that she performed unnecessary work on several patients in Daly City and then altered a judge’s order and stole someone’s identity to seek other dental jobs during her pending court case, San Mateo County prosecutors said.
Amishi Patel, 43, was a part-time dentist at Campus Heights Dental Care in Daly City, where she performed unnecessary dental work on at least eight patients between April 2014 and May 2015, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The case came to light when the family of a patient contacted the Dental Board of California, which contacted the state Department of Insurance, which contacted the district attorney’s office about the alleged insurance fraud, Wagstaffe said.
Among the patients was a 16-year-old girl who Patel recommended receive 16 fillings. Patel performed eight of the fillings before the girl’s father became suspicious and took her for a second opinion, prosecutors said.
Three subsequent dentists determined the girl had no signs of cavities, did not need any fillings and said the eight fillings from Patel were so poorly performed that they needed to be replaced, prosecutors said.
Patel was charged this February for the cases in Daly City and a judge ordered her not to practice dentistry as a condition of her release on bail, but investigators eventually learned she had altered the order to make it appear that it had been rescinded days later, prosecutors said.
She used the altered order to get temporary employment as a dentist in Fremont, where she treated four patients.
Patel also called another dentist with a name similar to hers, pretending to be from a dental insurance company, and obtained the dentist’s license number that she then used to apply for several dental jobs in Fremont, including an interview attended by an undercover officer, prosecutors said.
Those cases took place between June and July of this year, Wagstaffe said.
Patel pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony insurance fraud, assault, identity theft and forgery on the condition that she receive a sentence of up to a year in county jail and a referral to mental health court, according to the district attorney’s office.
“She got a very light sentence,” Wagstaffe said of the plea deal, adding that San Mateo County Superior Court Donald Ayoob “had leniency for her because he thinks there are mental issues there.”
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of up to five years in state prison for Patel.
“We think the only mental issue is she’s a fraud,” Wagstaffe said.
The case will return to court on Jan. 12 for an intake conference for the mental health court and to set a sentencing date.
Patel’s defense attorney Jonathan McDougall was not immediately available for comment on the case.
Here is a different way to carry out identity theft:
Suspects stole records, identities and cars in 33-count indictment
By Daniel Barnett
COLUMBUS (WCMH) – The Franklin County Grand Jury has returned a 33-count RICO indictment against four suspects on charges that include theft, identity fraud, and breaking and entering.
A press release from the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s office says that Jonathan Charles Knapp, 35, and Justin Lee Goins, 26, stole information out of storage units at two separate storage locations and then opened credit cards in the stolen individuals names. The indictment also names Frank M. Abrams II, 47, and Gary Ronald Smith Jr., 39, for one count each of fraud and theft.
According to the release, Knapp and Goins rented out storage units at Simply Self-Storage and Westerville Mini Storage and, once inside, began breaking in to other storage units.
The release says that the two men not only obtained thousands of patient files from a local dentist office, they also obtained hundreds of documents from a company that prepared taxes and restored credit.
The information obtained was then used to open credit cards and lines of credit under the stolen names.
The release also alleges that a vehicle was stolen from a local Ford dealership by one of the suspects using an illegally-obtained drivers license.
Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien lauded several police departments and organizations responsible for their roles in the investigation.
The indictment says that Knapp has received seven counts of identity fraud, seven counts of identity fraud against a person in a protected class, two counts of breaking and entering and grand theft, five counts of theft, and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Justin Lee Goins received three counts of identity fraud and theft, and one count of grand theft, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
The Fortuna resident who allegedly fraudulently ran Eel River Valley Dental using forged documents appeared in court Monday and has been charged with four felony counts.
According to Humboldt County court records, Mazair, also known as Michael, Eshghipour allegedly committed insurance fraud, fraudulently altered medical credentials, fraudulently used an altered medical credential and practiced medicine without a license from July 2015 to June 2016.
Retired dentist Robert Parks said he sold his practice, Eel River Valley Dental, to Eshghipour in 2015 at the referral of another local dentist.
“We got a license from him but he forged it,” he said.
Parks then retired but heard odd things from his old staff who all kept their jobs through the ownership transition.
“He continued to use my prescription and my license number,” he said.
The staff kept digging and found no record of a license for Eshghipour, he said.
“As soon as they found out I immediately called and told them to leave the office and call the authorities,” Parks said.
He said he came out of retirement and took over his old practice to stabilize his patients and make sure they transitioned to another, licensed, dentist.
“My patients were my friends and my family so I wouldn’t sleep at night if I didn’t do that,” Parks said.
Parks retired again, for good, in May this year and Eel River Valley Dental is no longer operating.
According to a Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office news release, the Fortuna Police Department and DA’s office investigated this case extensively and arrested Eshghipour on June 30, 2016. He was later released on his own recognizance.
“Today, Mr. Eshghipour made an initial appearance in Humboldt Superior Court,” the DA’s office release, issued on Monday, reads. “He did not enter a plea. The matter was continued to for October 2, 2017. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Tobias Hasler, who specializes in insurance fraud crimes.”
He appeared for a arraignment on a complaint and according to court records would have had a warrant issued for his arrest had he not shown up.
Eshghipour’s is due in court for his continued complaint arraignment on Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m., according to court records.
He faces one felony charge of making false statements for an insurance claim, felony possessing an altered certificate to practice medicine, felony using a fraudulent certificate and felony practicing medicine without a license, according to court records.
“He was just deceitful, a con man,” Parks said. “He conned a lot of people so I don’t think he should be on the street.”
Content retrieved from http://www.times-standard.com/article/NJ/20170725/NEWS/170729896
Ottawa’s Omar Anwar won bail on Friday after being arrested on charges that he impersonated a dentist and forged medical school records in a failed bid to take dental exams at McGill University in May.
This type of alleged identity fraud is so rare that the National Dental Examining Board of Canada (NDEB) said it has seen it only twice in the past two decades.
Police said Anwar, 29, worked as a dental assistant at two Ottawa clinics.
The criminal investigation began after the NDEB called Ottawa police saying someone had attempted to take dental exams on May 27-28 with falsified credentials. In order to write the exam, applicants must have a degree from an accredited dental school.
The investigation revealed that Anwar allegedly accessed the University of Minnesota credentials of a real dentist and then applied online to take the dental exams. (Anwar is also charged with uttering a forged document.)
A handcuffed Anwar appeared in court on Friday and won bail right away.
His defence lawyer, Paolo Giancaterino, said his client is looking forward to telling his side of the story.
Anwar was released on conditions that he live at his family home in Alta Vista and that he not work at dental clinics.
The reputed imposter is also charged with false pretense for landing those jobs, police said. He was also charged with uttering forged documents for a series of alleged fake resumés.
An Ottawa police detective said that, had the investigation revealed the accused actually worked as a dental hygienist or dentist, he would have been charged with assault.
While the accused fraudster never worked as a dentist, he portrayed himself as one in online profiles, including one that said he was a specialist.
There are numerous selfies — some with him posing with leased luxury cars, including a Lamborghini he named “Ava” — on his Instagram account, where he portrays himself as a dental surgeon, posting an image of a T-shirt that reads, “I am a Dental Surgeon, do you think a sane person would do this job?” He also suggests in one photo that he was doing surgery on May 5 with hashtags that include #dentist #surgery #hardwork.
His LinkedIn account said he worked as a dental-oral surgeon at Harmony Dentistry from June 2014 to present.
A receptionist at Harmony Dentistry on Cyrville Road was reluctant to speak about Anwar, but confirmed he had worked at the dental clinic for a short period “shadowing” other hygienists and dentists until he “passed his exams.”
Kim Phillips, communications manager with the NDEB, said 900 people write that exam each year, almost always without any red flags going up.
“It’s very unusual, it’s not something we come across very often,” Phillips said. “We do a detailed credential evaluation on all applicants, and I think we’ve seen this two times in the last 20 years.”
She said had Anwar taken the exam and passed with a certificate, he would have had to go through several more steps before he would have been able to practise in a specific province.
Anwar lists several institutions on his LinkedIn account (which, along with his other social media accounts, were shut down or made private Friday afternoon) where he obtained degrees, including the University of Calgary where he said he completed a master’s degree in internal medicine in 2011; and a health sciences degree from the University of Ottawa in 2010. The U of O could only confirm that a student by the same name completed an Honours Bachelor in Health Sciences (BHSc) in 2011.
His home address is listed in Alta Vista. On Friday afternoon, his mother answered the phone. When asked if he was a dentist, she said, “Yes.” Asked where he went to dental school, she said, “Spain.” After further questions, she said, “Do you mind if he calls you? I’m not doing well right now.”
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