Wis. Dentist Convicted of Breaking Patients' Teeth, Charging Them for Fixes, Then Collecting Insurance Money

Scott Charmoli took photos of the broken teeth and sent them to insurance companies in an effort to collect additional money

Dentist Dr. Scott Charmoli
Scott Charmoli.

On Friday, a Wisconsin-based dentist was convicted of breaking the teeth of his patients, charging them for fixes and then collecting insurance money, the office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced.

Scott Charmoli, 61, was convicted of five counts of health care fraud and two counts of making false statements related to health care matters, said the office in a news release.

"The evidence presented at trial established that Scott Charmoli engaged in a years-long scheme to defraud dental insurance companies into paying for unnecessary crown procedures," added the office.

"The evidence showed that, beginning in 2015, Charmoli started to aggressively sell patients on the need for crown procedures. After convincing patients they needed crowns, Charmoli intentionally broke his patients' teeth with his drill and took pictures and X-rays of the damage he caused."

In an effort to collect additional money, Charmoli would take photos of the broken teeth and send them to insurance companies.

"Insurance companies assumed that those images of damage represented the pre-operative condition of the teeth, and as a result, paid the claims. Many of Charmoli's patients also paid significant co-pays for these crown procedures," said the office.

Evidence obtained throughout the course of the investigation showed Charmoli billed more than $4.2 million for crown procedures from 2016 to 2019, added the office, noting more than 700 crowns were performed annually from 2015 to 2019.

He was indicted by a federal grand jury in December on multiple accounts of health care fraud and false statements relating to health care matters.

Charmoli, who lives in Grafton, Wis., allegedly began his scheme in January 2016 by falsely advising patients that they needed crowns.

His sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 17, 2022, before federal Judge Lynn Adelman. The office added that if Charmoli is convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison for every healthcare fraud conviction and up to five years for each false statement conviction.

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