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Red Bank, NJ Dentist Marc Weber Charged With Fraud June 15, 2009

Posted by jefhenningeresq in News.
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Marc Weber of Red Bank, a licensed dentist, his office manager, Jennifer Barbers, of Manalapan, and Weber’s dental practice, Whitehouse Dental Office, P.A. (d/b/a Weber Dental Associates), located on Broad Street in Red Bank were charged with second-degree conspiracy and second-degree health care claims fraud, as well as Medicaid fraud, theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, and theft of identity, all in the third-degree.

There are two sets of allegations here.  According to the press release, the first set of charges allege that:

between Jan. 1, 2004, and June 30, 2008, Weber and Barbers, who are now married to each other, stole more than $3,565 from Medicaid for services that were never rendered and/or completed. According to the indictment, Weber and Barbers regularly instructed another employee who handled the billing for the dental practice, to submit claims to Medicaid for pre-approved work prior to the completion of the pre-approved work. Barbers instructed the same employee to submit claims to Medicaid for a patient’s entire treatment plan on the patient’s first office visit, even if the patient did not return to the office to complete the treatment. She also allegedly instructed an employee to bill Medicaid for crowns and dentures on the patient’s initial visit rather than when or if the work was completed.

That part is not too bad from a defense perspective. Clearly there is an issue with an employee who is not charged.  Thus, it will be difficult to prove that this was not just a disgrunteled employee acting on her own.  Furthermore, the dollar amount is rather low.  If this was it, I would not be worried.

The second part of the case is more serious.  It alleges that:

Barbers allegedly convinced patients to take out loans for dental procedures using specific loan providers, even when the procedures were covered by insurance. She then allegedly processed the loans without the patients’ authorization, and collected payments from the loan providers even if the patients decided not to have the dental work performed. As a result of Barbers’ alleged actions, the patients were responsible for paying back the loans. According to the indictment, Barbers obtained the identifying information of three patients from the loan applications and assumed the identity of those patients in order to obtain the proceeds of the loans. It is alleged that Weber, Barbers and the dental practice fraudulently collected almost $30,000 from the proceeds of these loans.

This sounds bad, but the good thing is that it was only three people.  I am sure there is more to this story.  However, everything here is on the line so I hope they have great attorneys.  I would want to interview these patients right away.  Their testimony will go a long way in determining what happens with the case.  If there are other patients that are similarly situated but not part of the case, I would interview them as well.

Press release is here.