Miami Dentist’s Brush With Authorities Lands Her in Jail for Medicaid Fraud

October 6, 2004

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, Statewide Prosecutor Peter Williams and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced that a Miami dentist surrendered to court authorities and was then booked into the Dade County jail for her reported involvement in a costly Medicaid fraud scheme. Through the employment of an unlicensed staff that was unqualified to perform specialized dental procedures, the scheme victimized patients and cost the Florida Medicaid program more than $260,000.

From January 2000 to August 2004, Dr. Suzanne Abergel-Nahon reportedly directed five staff members to perform certain dental services even though they did not have the necessary Florida Department of Health licensure to do so.

The dentist’s Medicaid bill reflected that a licensed dentist had performed fillings, cement crowns, cement post and cords, extractions, dentures, root canals and final impressions for crowns. In fact, unlicensed staff performed the services, for which Abergel-Nahon submitted 12,953 Medicaid claims totaling more than $3 million, some of which was for services performed legitimately.

The dentist was charged with first-degree organized fraud, first-degree grand theft, and the third-degree felony of knowingly employing non-dentists to perform dentistry, in violation of Florida statues.

She faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for organized fraud and grand theft, and a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for employing non-dentists to perform dentistry.

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