Manchester Dentist, Dental Clinics and Dental Imaging Facility Pay $300K to Settle False Claims Allegations
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ABBAS MOHAMMADI, DDS, and his businesses, COLUMBIA DENTAL, P.C. and COLUMBIA ORAL MAXILLOFACIAL IMAGING, L.L.C., have entered into a civil settlement agreement with the federal and state governments and paid $300,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the federal and state False Claims Acts.
Mohammadi, a dentist and oral surgeon, is the owner of Columbia Dental, P.C. (“CDPC”), which operates 15 dental clinics throughout Connecticut, and Columbia Oral Maxillofacial Imaging Imaging, L.L.C. (“COMILLC”), a dental imaging facility in Manchester. Mohammadi and both corporations are enrolled as providers in the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program (“CMAP”), which includes the state’s Medicaid program. It is alleged that, from January 2012 through February 2016, Mohammadi, CDPC and COMILLC billed Medicaid for dental restoration services that were not provided or were not medically necessary. It is also alleged that, from January 2014 through November 2015, Mohammadi, CDPC and COMILLC billed Medicaid for x-ray services that were not provided by individuals who had been certified by the Dental Assisting National Board to take x-rays.
To resolve the allegations under the federal and state False Claims Acts, Mohammadi, CDPC and COMILLC paid $300,000 in order to reimburse the Medicaid program.
A complaint against Mohammadi, CDPC and COMILLC was filed in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut (U.S. ex rel. Mahoney v. Columbia Dental, P.C.. et al., No. 3:15-CV-918) under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the both the federal and state False Claims Acts, which allow private parties to bring suit on behalf of the government. The whistleblower provisions of both the federal and state False Claims Acts provide that the whistleblower is entitled to receive a percentage of the proceeds of any judgment or settlement recovered by the government. The relator (whistleblower), Ms. Brittany Ames Mahoney, a former employee at CDPC, will receive a share of the proceeds of the settlement in the amount of $45,000. The Court issued judgment in favor of the U.S. and the State of Connecticut against Mohammadi, CDPC and COMILLC in the amount of $300,000 pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement.
This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne F. Thidemann, and by Assistant Attorney General Joshua L. Jackson of the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General.
This matter is announced in coordination with a Department of Justice nationwide enforcement action involving more than 300 defendants in criminal and civil cases across 51 federal districts. The defendants, including more than 100 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, are alleged to have submitted more than $6 billion in false and fraudulent claims to federal health care programs and private insurers.
People who suspect health care fraud are encouraged to report it by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS or the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 777-6311.