NV Couple accused of using woman’s identity to receive dental work

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.Ed Murray/The Star-Ledger

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 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.

Retired NJ Dentist: ‘He continued to use my prescription and my license number’

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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

NJ dentist sues former colleague over allegedly fake online reviews

Dr. Catherine Chen

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HACKENSACK – Two dentists who worked together in Englewood Cliffs are embroiled in a lawsuit with one practitioner claiming the other posted defamatory reviews about him online in an effort to destroy his reputation, according to a lawsuit filed in Bergen County.

Dong Hyun Lee, 52, claims in court papers that former colleague Catherine Chen, 40, posted a fake review about his practice on the Heath Grades website in January 2016, disguising herself as “Q.T. from Palisades Park.”

“This is the worst dental experience I have ever encountered in my life!” the post states, according to the lawsuit.

“From the long waiting time to the rough and painful handling while working on my teeth to insurance fraud for charging my insurance for work that Dr. Dong Lee never did, I can’t imagine any other dental office can be as terrible as this one!” the suit claims the poster wrote. “Run as fast as you can from this place!”

Lee and Chen worked together for a time at Lee’s practice, Sylvan Dental, which serves clients in North Jersey and several counties in New York, according to the suit. Chen is identified in court papers as a tenant in Lee’s practice.

“Over time, the name ‘Sylvan Dental’ and ‘Dong Lee’ have become synonymous with high quality dental care provided to the Korean-American community and to the community at large,” the suit states.

Content retrieved from: http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2017/01/dentist_posted_libelous_reviews_of_colleague_onlin.html

After Assuming The Identity Of A Dead Colleague, NJ Dentist Received A $1.1 Million Fine

One New Jersey man sought to carry on the memory of a deceased dentist in a way that has landed him with a hefty bill. According to the New York Daily News, Roben Brookhim will face a $1.1 million fine for assuming the identity of  John Kirkland Jr.

Brookhim, 58, reportedly issued bills to Medicaid under Kirkland’s identity at Associated Dental from 2005 to 2012. In addition to this million dollar fine, Brookhim is barred from practicing dentistry for 50 years. In a statement issued by the chief counsel of the Inspector General, Gregory Demske, Brookhim’s case will serve as a lesson to those who plan to follow in his illegal footsteps. “This case sends a strong warning that individuals who intentionally circumvent exclusion to defraud Federal health care programs face substantial consequences.”

Demske adds that the 50-year ban is also “one of the longest exclusion periods ever imposed by our office.” Brookhim’s assumed motive for this incident stemmed from the indefinite loss of his practicing license in 2004. NJ.com reports that medical officials noticed issues with Brookhim’s billing methods, and decided to strip him of his license in 1999, but temporarily. It was revoked five years later when authorities uncovered that he was still practicing the same illegal methods.

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Content retrieved from: http://www.vibe.com/2017/01/dentist-identity-theft-of-dead-colleague/

New Jersey Woman Convicted of Embezzling $85k

NORRISTOWN >> A New Jersey woman who worked as an office manager at an Abington Township dental practice has been convicted of charges she stole more than $85,000 from the business to support, prosecutors say, her “lavish lifestyle.”

Jackie Singer, 50, of Pennsauken, showed no emotion as she was convicted by a jury in Montgomery County Court of charges of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and forgery in connection with incidents that occurred between 2008 and 2014 while she worked for the Julie Robin Arouh Dental Practice along Old York Road in the Jenkintown section of Abington.

Judge Gail. A. Weilheimer, who presided over the four-day trial, deferred sentencing so that court officials can complete a background investigative report about Singer. Singer remains free on bail pending sentencing.

“As an employee she stole money from the business bank accounts of the doctor and owner of that business,” alleged Assistant District Attorney Meghan Carney. “She was the office manager, so she had full rein of the books as well as the business bank accounts. She was stealing from the office in different ways. We will be seeking some type of jail time.”

An investigation began after Singer was dismissed from her job in March 2014 and the owner of the practice conducted an audit of office records “and found several financial discrepancies dating back to 2008,” according to the criminal complaint filed by Abington Detective Robert Wilsbach.

The investigation determined Singer paid her personal credit card bills using the dental practice’s bank accounts. Singer also issued checks from the accounts for personal use, signing the doctor’s name to the checks “for which she was not authorized,” Wilsbach alleged.

Singer also applied for and was issued a Visa business account in the practice’s name and used it to make personal purchases, prosecutors alleged.

“She was going on trips. She went to the Bahamas. She went to Las Vegas. She bought airline tickets, hotel reservations, she paid for her car insurance … and other personal expenses,” Carney alleged. “She purchased items from Coach, Tiffany’s and tropical vacations.

“We would submit that she was using these stolen funds to live a lavish lifestyle,” Carney added.

During the trial, Singer, who was represented by defense lawyer Andres Jalon, testified and implied the owner of the practice had given her permission to use the funds. Carney said the doctor never gave Singer permission.

“Essentially, this is a case of misplaced trust. The doctor trusted her to run the office and the defendant took advantage of that trust and used those funds for her own personal gain,” Carney said.

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Content retrieved from: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20161104/abington-dental-office-employee-convicted-of-stealing-85k?source=most_viewed

N.J. dental office manager pleads guilty to health care claims fraud

The office manager of an East Brunswick, N.J., dental practice pleaded guilty to cheating insurers out of $45,000 by billing for services never rendered.

Magdy Rafla, 56, made the plea to a charge of second-degree health care claims fraud in a state Superior Court, according to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

Rafla, the billing manager at his wife’s dental practice, admitted that between Feb. 9, 2004, and June 14, 2007, he knowingly falsified the dental records of 66 different patients, adding services never performed. He also admitted to submitting the records to various insurers for payment and reimbursement.

An investigation by the New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor found that the dental practice gained $45,000 as a result of Rafla’s fraudulent activity.

As part of the plea deal, Rafla’s wife, Gina Tanios-Rafla, agreed to a five-year dental license supervision, including 364 days of an active suspension. The remainder will serve as a period of probation. The dentist also signed a separate consent judgment ordering her to pay a $50,000 civil fine.

Rafla is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 13 and through the plea, the state recommended a three-year state prison sentence and a $50,000 civil fine.

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Content retrieved from: http://ifawebnews.com/2010/04/09/n-j-dental-office-manager-pleads-guilty-to-health-care-claims-fraud/

Essex County NJ Dental Office Manager Pleads Guilty to Stealing $37,000 in Insurance Claim Checks

cindy-crissen

TRENTON – Division of Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw announced that the former office manager for an Essex County dentist has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $37,000 in insurance claim checks.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Cindy Crissien, 23, Clifton, Passaic County, pleaded guilty before Essex County Superior Court Judge Nancy Sivilli to an accusation which charged theft by deception and insurance fraud (3rd degree). Crissien faces up to ten years in state prison, a fine of up to $15,000, and possible civil insurance fraud fines when sentenced on May 12.

In pleading guilty, Crissien admitted that between Oct. 1, 2002 and May 17, 2004, while employed as the office manager in a Cedar Grove, Essex County, dentist’s office, she diverted at least 48 insurance claim reimbursement checks received by the dentist totaling more than $37,000 into her personal account. The investigation also determined that Crissien submitted $2,650 in personal dental insurance claims to MetLife for dental procedures that were not performed.

State Investigator Harry N. Maronpot, Civil Investigator Andre Mitchell, and Deputy Attorney General Joan M. Burke were assigned to the investigation. DAG Burke represented the Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor at the March 23 guilty plea hearing

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Content retrieved from: http://www.nj.gov/lps/newsreleases06/pr20060404a.html

NJ Dental supply company president stole $1M in dental supplies, prosecutor says

What would anyone do with $1 million in dental supplies?

____________

The president of a Cranford-based dental supply company sent hundreds of invoices to product manufacturers, but all the paperwork was fake, authorities say.

Now the company president Frank Clavelli, 42, of Monroe Township, Middlesex County, faces charges for falsely obtaining more than $1 million in products, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park said Wednesday.

Clavelli, president of Tristate Dental Supplies & Equipment, is charged with theft by deception and misconduct by a corporate official, both second-degree charges, Park said in a statement.

He also was charged with fourth-degree engaging in deceptive business practices and forgery, Park said.

Tristate, now headquartered in Monroe, was previously located in Cranford, the prosecutor said.

She said Clavelli allegedly had been fabricating fictitious invoices himself, and claiming that other companies were making purchases from a manufacturer, Dentsply Sirona, which is based in New York and Pennsylvania.

“The fictitious invoices, which numbered in the hundreds, resulted in Tristate receiving more than $1 million in goods from Dentsply Sirona before the alleged scheme was finally uncovered,” Park said.

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NJ office manager steals $215k, gets 5 days in jail

A long-time employee for a Raritan Township oral surgeon was sentenced Friday, Jan. 5, to 36 days in jail and five years probation for bilking the practice of more than $215,000 The ex-office manager, Barbara Reinhard, 59, of Raritan Township, cashed insurance checks and pocketed the money in various amounts between March 26, 1999 and Nov. 12, 2004 from the Sand Hill Road practice of Joseph Sansevere, an oral surgeon.

Reinhard, who appears frail and walks with a cane, had illegally cashed 256 insurance checks totalling $215,426.86 over that five-year period according to an October 2005 indictment. “Barbara, I hope you know how many people you have hurt,” Carolyn Sansevere said in a prepared statement before Reinhard was sentenced. Sansevere’s wife said that Reinhard’s scheme was complex and included “convincing tellers to cash business checks” that by law had to be deposited; “went to the post office posing as someone else” to collect mail for the business and “altered data in a computer” attempting to deflect suspicion. Carolyn Sansevere, speaking on behalf of her husband who was also in court, said the practice’s reputation, which was built from scratch took a huge hit as a result of the thefts.

Sansevere’s wife, who had worked at the practice when the thefts were occurring, said an internal investigation and investigations by the Raritan Township Police and the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office were conducted to prove her husband’s innocence. “You thought nothing of trying to blame other people,” Sansevere’s wife said. Assistant Prosecutor Charles Ouslander said Reinhard had been considered a “loyal” employee who was almost “treated like a family member.” Reinhard responded with a simple “no,” when asked by Superior Court judge Roger F. Mahon, sitting in Flemington, if she had anything to say before he sentenced her. The investigation began Nov. 17, 2004, after accusations that Reinhard took prescription blanks and used them to obtain painkillers had surfaced, Ouslander said following the hearing. The scheme fell apart when a particular drug not used very often was requested “over a short period of time,” Ouslander said. She was arrested in February 2005 during the investigation. Reinhard had worked for Sansevere for 10 years starting in 1994 and worked her way up, eventually being trusted to deal with insurance companies and depositing checks, according to court records.

She pleaded guilty Sept. 8 to theft by failure to make required disposition. Other charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement. Ouslander said Reinhard was among the first employees when Sansevere’s practice opened 12 years ago. Some of the stolen money was “recouped” by practice from the banks following civil court settlements, assistant prosecutor Ouslander said. Judge Mahon ordered Reinhard to pay $120,000 in restitution as part of the plea agreement with prosecutors. Employees from Sansevere’s practice filled most of the left side of the courtroom in support of the victim, but they did not speak. Ouslander said he was satisfied with the sentence the judge imposed. “I believe Mr. Sansevere was satisfied as well,” Ouslander said following the sentencing.

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Receptionist Steals $25,000 from NJ Orthodontist, Monmouth Prosecutor Says

Holmdel, NJ – A front desk receptionist at a Holmdel orthodontics practice was indicted this week for stealing her boss’ checkbook, and writing about $25,000 worth of checks to herself and her friends, Monmouth County prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Dr. Sezer Olcay, DMD, the owner of Holmdel Orthodontics, said she doesn’t usually write checks, so at first she didn’t notice when pages from her personal checkbook went missing last fall.

“I would check my bank account online and notice checks had been made out in small amounts at first, $25, $50,” Dr. Olcay told Patch Wednesday. “Then the amounts got larger.”

As soon as she realized what was happening, the orthodontist called the police.

Her front desk receptionist, Gina Lena, has been charged with stealing her checkbook and writing out checks to herself as well as two of her friends, she said. This went on for about a 10-week period, Dr. Olcay said, from September through November of 2015. In total, she says, Lena stole $25,000 from her.

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