Rhode Island dentist charged with illegally operating Connecticut clinics
A North Kingstown, R.I., dentist who lost his right to practice in Rhode Island and Massachusetts turned his attention to Connecticut, where the federal government alleges he engaged in a $20 million Medicaid fraud scheme while operating dental clinics in West Haven, Stamford and Trumbull.
Now the U.S. government is seeking lengthy incarceration for 59-year-old Gary F. Anusavice and the forfeiture of his home, his 2008 Mercedes automobile, and $91,700 in cash that was seized at the time of his arrest.
A federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment June 7 charging Anusavice, also known as “Gary Andrews,” “Gary Andrus” and “Gary Francis,” with Medicaid and Health Care fraud. Anusavice has been detained since he was arrested on May 24.
According to the government, Anusavice was convicted in July 1997 in Massachusetts for submitting false health care claims, a felony. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services notified him that he was excluded from participating in Medicare and state health programs, including Medicaid. He was informed that he could not submit claims or cause claims to be submitted for payment from the Medicaid program and Medicaid reimbursement payments are prohibited to any entity in which he serves as an “employee, administrator, operator, or in any other capacity... .”
The indictment alleges that, from 2009 to April 2011, Anusavice owned and operated three dental clinics in Connecticut but used a licensed dentist, who is not named in the indictment but is referred to as a co-conspirator, to act as the nominal head of the dental clinics. The clinics included Landmark Dental in West Haven, Dental Group of Connecticut in Trumbull, and Dental Group of Stamford.
The government alleges the co-conspirator failed to disclose Anusavice’s ownership or control interests in the clinics and that the dental practices received nearly $21 million in reimbursements from the Connecticut Medicaid program. The indictment alleged that Anusavice received more than $3 million in payments from the clinics through entities that he controlled.
The government also alleges that Anusavice was involved in reviewing patient charts, suggesting dental procedures to be performed, reviewing billing records, reviewing income reports, interviewing and hiring dentists, and providing overall management direction to the offices.
“By surreptitiously operating dental clinics in Connecticut, this defendant allegedly defrauded the Medicaid program of more than $20 million over a two-year period,” said U.S. Attorney David B. Fein. “We are committed to protecting American taxpayers from health care fraud, which can increase costs and jeopardize the integrity of our health care system.”
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the FBI. The Connecticut Attorney General’s Office provided assistance.
Fein encouraged individuals who suspect health care fraud to report it by calling the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 777-6311 or 1-800-HHS-TIPS.
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