Conn. dentist to pay $2.1M to settle Medicaid fraud claims

A Connecticut dentist has agreed to pay $2.1 million to settle fraud allegations and civil claims stemming from an illegal Medicaid billing scheme, according to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.

Stamford dentist Mehran Zamani, DDS, and 13 of his practices and management companies were among 28 people, dental practices, and corporations named in a 2012 civil lawsuit that alleged participation in a scheme to submit fraudulent Medicaid claims.

Dr. Zamani, who was also charged with federal criminal offenses for his alleged involvement in the billing scheme, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Hartford on April 15. He is scheduled to be sentenced in July and faces a three-year prison term.

"This settlement provides restitution to the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program and bars Mr. Zamani from participating in any federal healthcare program for 10 years," Jepsen noted in a statement. "In addition, he has agreed to fully cooperate with the state's ongoing investigation and litigation of this matter as well as any other matter related to the alleged scheme."

The $2.1 million settlement includes a $200,000 payment to the state and the federal government and the forfeiture of rights in $1.9 million in Medicaid payments that had been suspended and held by Connecticut during the investigation. Dr. Zamani and one of his companies also will forfeit a $159,000 Hartford property.

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