A Crofton man pleaded guilty guilty in Massachusetts Superior Court to multiple charges of Medicaid fraud for using pieces of paper clips in root canals instead of standard stainless steel posts, according to an announcement today from the Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.
Gansler's office, the Maryland Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Maryland State Police aided in the investigation after he was indicted in 2010 because he moved to the state. The probe found former Fall River, Mas. dentist Michael Clair, 53, had submitted false claims to Medicaid for $130,000 between 2002 and 2005 for the costs of the posts. He used other dentists' provider numbers because he had been excluded from the Medicaid program since 2002.
“It’s appalling that patients who expected proper dental care instead were the victims of a money-saving scheme,” Ganseler said in a statement. “There are no cutting corners when it comes to our individual health and welfare and I thank my colleagues in Massachusetts for ensuring these actions did not go unpunished.”
In all, Clair pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery, larceny over $250, Medicaid false claims, illegally prescribing a Class B substance and Class C substance, tampering with evidence and int intimidating of a witness.
He's been under investigaiton in Massachusetts since 2005. Officials said paper clips are okay to use temporarily in some cases but not permanently. They can cause infection, discomfort and pain, they said.
After the indictment, Clair pleaded guilty and received probation before judgment in Anne Arundel County District Court for an unrelated second-degree assault charge.