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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Tulsa Dentist Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering Charge

Billed For Anesthesia Services Administered By Dental Assistants

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that WAYNE SCOTT HARRINGTON, age 67, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, pled guilty to an Information filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, charging him with MONEY LAUNDERING, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $250,000.00 or twice the amount of the criminally derived property, 3 years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.

The Information alleged that on or about June 5, 2012 HARRINGTON, a former dentist, laundered monies obtained from fraudulent billing to Medicaid during his practice of dentistry.

The scope of the federal investigation was limited to violations of federal law in relation to health care fraud. The fraudulent billing to Medicaid that provided the basis of the money laundering charge was based upon HARRINGTON billing for anesthesia services that were not administered by him.

Under Oklahoma Dental Board regulations, in order to administer general anesthesia or deep sedation, a dentist had to meet specific educational or certification requirements. Harrington met the requirements and was approved by the Oklahoma Dental Board to administer general anesthesia and deep sedation.  Under Board regulations, a dental assistant cannot, under any circumstances, administer injectable local anesthesia or general anesthesia.

In order to bill Medicaid for anesthesia services, the administration of the anesthesia must be provided by a qualified medical professional.  The Medicaid fraudulent billing alleged in the plea agreement occurred from April 3, 2012 through March 19, 2013. HARRINGTON billed Medicaid as though he administered the anesthesia when he did not.

The charge is a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigative Services, Department of Defense – Office of Inspector General, U.S. Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Oklahoma Attorney General Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

The Honorable Gregory K Frizzell, Chief Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, accepted the defendant’s guilty plea, and ordered the completion of a presentence report.  Sentencing will be scheduled upon its completion.

Assistant United States Attorney Melody Nelson and Assistant United States Attorney Edward Snow represented the United States.

Topic: 
Healthcare Fraud
Updated April 14, 2016