Fruitland Woman Indicted for False Billing at Payette Dental Clinic
BOISE – Cherie R. Dillon, 60, of Fruitland, Idaho, made an initial appearance yesterday on charges of health care fraud and aggravated identity theft, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Dillon was indicted on February 9, 2016, by a federal grand jury in Boise.
The indictment alleges that Dillon was a dental hygienist and operated Dental Healthcare with Heart in Payette, Idaho. The indictment further alleges that between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2013, she executed a scheme to defraud health care benefit programs, including Medicaid. In particular, the indictment alleges that even though Dillon was only a dental hygienist, she performed dental services that may only be performed by a dentist. Dillon received payment for those services from health care benefit programs while fraudulently misrepresenting that the services had been performed by a dentist, and while using the name and provider number of a particular dentist who was not in the office and who was unable to practice at the time.
The maximum sentence for health care fraud is up to ten years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Aggravated identity theft carries a two year mandatory minimum prison sentence and up to a $250,000 fine.
A trial is set for April 18, 2016, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise.
“People who fraudulently perform and bill for dental procedures that only licensed dentists are authorized to perform threaten the well-being of vulnerable Medicaid patients and the taxpayers who fund this important program,” said Special Agent in Charge Steven J. Ryan of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “Alongside our law enforcement partners, our agents will continue to aggressively pursue those who commit health care fraud just to enrich themselves.”
The case is being investigated by Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General with assistance from the Idaho Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
An indictment is a means of charging a person with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.