Texas AG sues All Smiles alleging Medicaid fraud

Texas Attorney General (AG) Greg Abbott has filed lawsuits against a dental chain and its owners this week after a yearlong investigation by News 8 at WFAA-TV in Dallas, the station reported.

Richard Malouf, DDS, and his corporate entities All Smiles are accused of costing taxpayers millions of dollars for unnecessary orthodontic work on low-income patients.

WFAA noted that Texas has paid more in orthodontic claims than the combined total of 49 other states, billing at least $15 million in a two-year period. The Texas attorney general's lawsuits seek two times the amount of the unearned payments.

A former All Smiles employee, Madelayne Castillo, and Christine Ellis, DDS, a Dallas orthodontist, filed separate whistleblower lawsuits in April and May. Both will remain sealed until the attorney general completes the investigation. The attorney general has also refiled those lawsuits in the state's name.

Dr. Malouf owns 28% of the company; the rest is owned by Valor Equity of Chicago, and a subsidiary of the firm is named as the defendant. Valor declined to comment during a phone call from DrBicuspid.com.

Those parties have allegedly violated the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act, according to Abbot. He explained that the company is alleged to have submitted claims for services that were unnecessary, not provided or misrepresented, paid kickbacks for the recruitment of Medicaid patients, "up-coded" for more expensive procedures than those that were performed, and provided care by unqualified workers.

DrBicuspid.com previously reported that three executives associated with Texas' Medicaid dental program have retired or quit since last fall in the wake of the state's ongoing scandal involving fraud and overbilling.

In an interview with DrBicuspid.com, Dr. Ellis said, "I think there's every reason to think they were asked to retire."

The state's inspector general has sent letters to several dental chains implicated in Medicaid fraud to recover money for questionable treatments, including braces, steel crowns, and composite fillings.

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