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Shore Dentist Among Seven Charged with Medicaid Fraud

A Spring Lake dentist and two Lincroft-based work associates at a failed Colts Neck traveling dental service are among seven defendants accused of defrauding Medicaid for  $5,548,822.

Dr. Matthew Girardy, 42, is one of five dentists charged, along with Dr. Steven Beukas, 47, of Mahwah, owner of New Jersey Mobile Dental Practice, P.A; and Drs.Trina Ruchelman, 40 of Cream Ridge; Mary Anerousis, 47, of LIvingston; John Freiler, 74, of Wanaque; and New Jersey Mobile Dental Practice founder Steven Beukas of Mahwah.

Also named in the 31-count indictment, according to information from the office of New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, are NJ Mobile office manager Illuminata Davi and Billing Manager Joyce Fuller, both of Lincroft.

NJ Mobile’s purpose was to provide on-site dental procedures for patients in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, and private homes.

“These defendants’ alleged actions not only defrauded the Medicaid program, but also preyed upon vulnerable individuals who sought to utilize NJ Mobile’s services,” Attorney General Chiesa said.

The indictment charges that between January 1, 2003 and August 1, 2009, Beukas, Davi and Fuller submitted false and inflated invoices to Medicare for reimbursement to the dentists.

Prosecutors contend that bills were submitted for services never rendered and for add-ons such as “behavior management” charges for nearly every patient, regardless of whether post-procedure counseling took place; and “trip charges” for most patients in any one facility, despite being entitled to one charge per venue. In one instance, say prosecutors, claims were submitted for a patient who was already dead.

The second-degree counts of conspiracy, insurance fraud, health care claims fraud, theft by deception and misconduct by a corporate official carry sentences of 10 years in a state prison and fines up to $150,000 on conviction. The third-degree count of Medicare fraud is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000

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