Russian Immigrant Businessman, Former N.J. Dentist Nabbed in Insurance Scam

October 20, 2005

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy announced that a Russian immigrant businessman, his father, and a retired Bergen County dentist have been ordered to repay more than $29,000 to two New Jersey insurance companies after pleading guilty to insurance fraud, including practicing dentistry without a license and seeking reimbursement for dental treatments provided by non-licensed dental practitioners.

According to Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden Brown, Lev Natovich, 37, of Franklin Lakes, Bergen County, was ordered by Bergen County Superior Court Judge Donald Venezia to pay $12,000 in restitution to the Local 338 Union Fund and to the Delta Dental Insurance Company after pleading guilty to submitting thousands of dollars in fraudulent medical reimbursement claims which sought payment for dental services that were not performed by a licenced dentist. Natovich was also sentenced to six months in a drug rehabilitation center and is required to serve five years probation.

Brown noted that Natovich, charged via a State Grand Jury indictment returned on Jan. 10, 2005, pleaded guilty to Health Care Claims Fraud before Judge Venezia . The indictment charged that from September, 1999 through March, 2002, Natovich, along with two co-defendants, performed various dental procedures on at least 33 patients without any formal training in dentistry and without obtaining state, federal, or international license.

The indictment charged that Natovich, identified as the office manager for United Dental Center, formerly located at 35 Wallington Ave., Wallington, Bergen County, performed dental treatments that included extractions, root canal, fillings, and the fitting of partials and bridges.

A subsequent State Grand Jury indictment charged that Lev Natovich, after being indicted in January, instructed a purported member of Russian organized crime to contact a potential witness with instructions on what to say about the case when questioned by State Investigators.

Prosecutor Brown said that co-defendant and retired dentist, Joseph P. Matriss, 82, of Hasbrouck Heights, was ordered by Judge Venezia on Sept. 6 to pay $9,781 in restitution to Local 338 and $2,219 in restitution to Delta Dental. Matriss pleaded guilty to a charge of falsifying or tampering with records, reportedly admitting that he falsified dental records relating to the care of dental patients treated at United Dental Center. It was charged that Matriss allowed his name and dental identification number to be used by Natovich and United Dental Center to fraudulently bill insurance companies.

Boris Natovich, 58, also of Franklin Lakes, was admitted into the Pre-trial Intervention Program (PTI) and was ordered to pay $5,213 in restitution. Boris Natovich, Lev Natovich’s father, was identified as the registered owner of United Dental Center.

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