News and Press Releases

Area Dentist Pleads Guilty Guilty To Health Care Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 4, 2011

Imprisonment, fine possible

Greensboro, N.C. – United States Attorney Ripley Rand announced that Greensboro dentist Tung Thai Nguyen pleaded guilty yesterday to health care fraud charges in connection with false claims submitted to Medicaid.

Dr. Nguyen, age 40, pleaded guilty in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, on November 3, 2011, to two counts of violating 18 U.S.C. § 1347 (health care fraud) and one count of violating 18 U.S.C. § 1035 (false entries in a matter involving a health care benefit program). The maximum possible penalty for a health care fraud violation is not more than ten years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release not to exceed three years. The maximum possible penalty for a false entry violation is not more than five years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release not to exceed three years. The Court may also order the defendant to pay restitution to the health care benefit program.

According to documents filed in Court, Dr. Nguyen submitted claims to the Medicaid program for dental restorations not actually performed. Dr. Nguyen also submitted a claim to the Medicaid program for the installation of one type of partial denture when he actually furnished a less expensive and different partial denture to the patient.

Dr. Nguyen is scheduled to be sentenced on February 22, 2012, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The case was investigated by the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and the North Carolina Attorney General’s Medicaid Investigations Unit and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Hamilton.

Anyone suspecting Medicaid or Medicare provider fraud should call the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-447-8471 or report Medicaid provider fraud to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Medicaid Investigations Unit at (919) 881-2320.

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