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Greg Abbott: Sends man to prison for healthcare fraud while running for governor

Greg Abbott.....speaks during event in Austin as he campaigns for governor.
Greg Abbott.....speaks during event in Austin as he campaigns for governor.
Bonnie Lane

Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott continued working hard as Attorney General today (Thursday, Feb. 6) as his office prosecuted a man for healthcare fraud while he continued his campaign for governor, according to a news release from the Texas Attorney General's Office. Abbott, a native of Wichita Falls, Tex., is the top law enforcement official in the Lone Star State.

His office racked up yet another healthcare fraud conviction when Abilene dentist Dr. Tuan Truong of Kool Smiles was sentenced today to 18 months in federal prison. Truong earned a base salary from Kool Smiles, which also offered him opportunities for bonuses based on him exceeding daily targets.

An investigation conducted jointly by the Texas Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the FBI revealed that beginning June 30, 2008, and continuing to July 10, 2009, Truong made false entries on Kool Smiles patient records, claiming to have performed dental services for Medicaid beneficiaries that he well knew he had not performed. Truong made fraudulent entries which caused Kool Smiles to bill Medicaid for procedures which were never performed. The entries in the electronic databases caused Kool Smiles to bill and receive payment from Mediaid of more than $120,000, but less than $200,000 for services he claimed to have performed, but did not.

The dentist also benefitted from this scheme by receiving bonuses of $32, 749 to which he would not have been otherwise entitled. U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis also ordered Truong to reimburse Kool Smiles for the legal fees incurred throughout the investigation.

Kool Smiles has reportedly cooperated with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Burch of U.S. Attorney's Ofice in Lubbock, Texas, was in charge of the prosecution.

Abbott would become the first Wichita Falls native elected governor of Texas if he wins the election. James V. Allred, after which the Allred Prison Unit is named in Wichita Falls, was a resident of the city in the 1930s when he was elected governor. However, he was a native of Bowie, Texas.

Abbot is emphasizing an improvement of the Texas education system, protection of individuals gun rights and protection of religious liberties during his drive to the governor's mansion.

Recently, Abbott outlined a plan to protect the Texas border. He also said that his "Securing Texans" plan outlines proposals to protect our families, our communities and our border.

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