New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced today Feb.7, 2013, that the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor obtained a 31- count state grand jury indictment today charging seven defendants, including the owner of a now- defunct Central Jersey mobile dental practice for their alleged roles in a scheme to defraud the Medicaid program of over $5.5 million.
There is not a website avaialble for the business.
The following defendants were variously charged with conspiracy, insurance fraud, health care claims fraud, theft by deception and one count of misconduct by a corporate official. These charges are second degree charges and all of them are charged in the third degree of Medicaid fraud for their roles in the alleged scheme:
- Stephen Beukas, 47, of Mahwah, Dentist and owner of New Jersey Mobile Dental Practice, P.A.
- Illuminata “Lena” Davi, 56, of Lincroft, Office Manager at NJ Mobile
- Joyce Fuller, 56, of Lincroft, Medicaid Billing Manager at NJ Mobile
- Mary D. “Marydee” Anerousis, 47, of Livingston, Dentist at NJ Mobile
- John Freiler, 74, of Wanaque, Dentist at NJ Mobile
- Matthew Girardy, 42, of Spring Lake, Dentist at NJ Mobile
- Trina Ruchelman, 40, of Cream Ridge, Dentist at NJ Mobile
NJ Mobile, which had a business office in Colts Neck, was comprised of a group of dentists that traveled to various nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care facilities, and private homes throughout New Jersey in order to provide onsite dental treatment.
The indictment alleges that between Jan. 1, 2003 and Aug. 1, 2009, Beukas, Davi and Fuller stole $5,548,822 from Medicaid by creating the false impression that Anerousis, Freiler, Girardy and Ruchelman, as well as other mobile dentists, were entitled to reimbursement for dental services that they claim they provided. In some instances, the defendants allegedly overbilled Medicaid for services that were provided through the mobile dental practice. It is alleged that NJ Mobile systematically added a charge for “Behavior Management” on almost every Medicaid patient purportedly treated regardless of whether the dentists actually spent the additional time with the patient that would warrant that charge.
In other instances, the dentists allegedly billed Medicaid for dental procedures that were not provided. The indictment alleges that Beukas and Anerousis caused 3,714 claims to be fraudulently submitted to Medicaid for reimbursement for a dental procedure that was never actually provided. In one case, Freiler allegedly submitted claims for reimbursement for a purported Medicaid recipient. An investigation determined that the Medicaid recipient was deceased at the time that Freiler purportedly provided the dental service.
It is also alleged that the defendants would systematically add a “trip charge” to almost every Medicaid patient in the facility despite the fact that the dentists were only entitled to one per trip to the facility, regardless of the number of patients examined or treated. It is alleged that the dentists would then subsequently retain the payments from Medicaid to which they were not entitled.
An indictment is an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Second degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $150,000, while third degree crimes carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison and a criminal fine of up to $10,000.
See the slideshow above for pictures of the defendants.