Orthodontist must forfeit $1.5M in Medicaid fraud case

A U.S. district judge has ordered an Amarillo, TX, orthodontist to forfeit $1.56 million after pleading guilty to one count of Medicaid fraud, according to an article in the Amarillo Globe-News.

Michael David Goodwin, DDS, cannot challenge the forfeiture according to the terms of his plea agreement and could spend 10 years in federal prison and be fined up to $250,000.

Dr. Goodwin, owner of practices in Amarillo and Crown Point, IN, had been indicted on 11 counts of healthcare fraud in August 2012. According to the federal indictment, 90% to 95% of Dr. Goodwin's orthodontic patients were Medicaid beneficiaries. The indictment alleged that from January 2008 through March 2011, Dr. Goodwin devised a scheme to defraud the Texas Medicaid program by billing the program more than $2 million for services he claimed he provided, when in fact some of the services were not medically necessary or dental assistants provided those services when no dentist or orthodontist was present to supervise. In some cases, he billed for services in Amarillo when flight records showed he was in Indiana.

A revised indictment released in September alleged that Dr. Goodwin's wife, Patricia Yolanda Goodwin, and office manager, Annette Hastings, took part in plans to commit healthcare fraud and defraud Medicaid. But court records reveal that court motions to dismiss those indictments have since been filed, according to the article.

In July 2011, FBI agents filed a seizure warrant seeking $726,289.12 from Goodwin Orthodontics but were only able to seize $108,083. However, in May and July 2012 the government was able to seize an additional $244,235.67 from five personal and commercial bank accounts linked to Dr. Goodwin, his wife, and the practice, the article explained.

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