Fla. closes 'tooth fairy heist' investigation

Gavel Scale Justice

A state attorney in Florida announced that charges will not be filed against a dentist who was under investigation for his alleged role in the “tooth fairy heist,” a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud Medicaid.

Brian Kramer, the state attorney for the Eighth Judicial Circuit in Gainesville, stated in a June 12 letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who tasked him with this investigation, that he declined to charge Dr. Howard Fetner, of Jacksonville, FL, who was accused by the state's department of financial services of playing a role in the purported $2.3 million Medicaid fraud scheme.

“All matters connected to this assignment are now concluded and I am closing this matter in my office,” Kramer wrote in the letter.

In South Florida, the heist made headlines after five dental clinic workers were arrested in connection with an alleged Medicaid fraud scheme totaling nearly $2.3 million, but the charges were then dropped in November 2023.

The scam purportedly involved billing Medicaid for dental services that were never done and using billing codes given to dentists working for ACPDO Management. Fetner is accused of firing several dentists when they questioned these practices, according to the story.

In March, Gov. DeSantis reassigned the case to this attorney general after the initial attorney general recused herself citing conflicts of interest, including that some members of her staff had undergone dental work by Fetner's family members.

In the June letter, Kramer wrote that he didn’t conclude whether it was appropriate for the other prosecutors to decide not to prosecute Fetner or others who were arrested by the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit State Attorney or the statewide prosecutor.

Noting that prosecutors have broad discretion to determine who will or won’t be charged with crime, Kramer stated, “in reviewing this matter, there are clearly valid reasons to decline prosecution on the merits of this action. Turning to Dr. Fetner, even if it is legally possible to bring a criminal charge in the Fourth Circuit, I conclude that venue for this matter was proper either in the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit or with the Statewide Prosecutor.”

Page 1 of 66
Next Page