Dentist admits fraud charges

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A former dentist from Weymouth, Massachusetts has admitted to charges of fraud.

Gary Anusavice, 57, has agreed to pay a fine and will never practise as a dentist again after he admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud patients at clinics in Fall River and Weymouth. Anusavice has been ordered to pay $237,500 for legal fees, civil penalties and victim restitutions. The former dentist has also been told he must never attempt to practice dentistry or manage a company that deals with dentistry or dental marketing in the future.

The Attorney General’s office filed a case against Gary Anusavice in 2008, along with 14 other defendants. Attorney General, Martha Coakley, believed that Anusavice and his colleagues set up a scheme to defraud patients at three dental offices in the area; the dentists pressurised patients into signing up for expensive dental schemes and also used deceptive marketing strategies to encourage people to part with their money. The defendants are also accused of providing substandard care.

Martha Coakley claimed that the victims caught up in the incident had been left with substantial debts, which contributed to severe stress and anxiety.

The state received in excess of 260 complaints from patients and the dentists started to leave the offices once they feared their plan had been rumbled; many patients were left in the lurch and many did not receive X-rays and other materials and treatments they had already paid for.

The Attorney General’s office has announced that it expects five other defendants to go to trial.

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