By Erik L. Ridley

October 14, 2019 -- Pamela Van Drie, a former owner of a Springfield, MO-based dental clinic, has been sentenced in federal court for multiple fraud schemes totaling more than $1 million in Medicaid payments, failing to pay payroll taxes, and collecting unemployment benefits she wasn't entitled to receive.

Van Drie was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison without parole and was ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri. Van Drie and her husband, Lorin Van Drie, were convicted on February 20 of all 40 counts contained in a federal indictment.

The Van Dries owned All About Smiles, a company that provided dental services at three Missouri locations: Springfield, Mountain Grove, and Bolivar. In addition, they also owned PL Family Management Company, which managed staff for those clinics. The Springfield clinic closed in November 2015, while the Mountain Grove clinic closed in October 2014 and the Bolivar clinic closed in March 2014, according to a statement from the attorney's office.

The fraud took place over five years and consisted of two schemes. First, Pamela van Drie and James Dye, DDS, a dentist at the clinics, conspired to fraudulently bill Medicaid for speech aid prosthetics they did not provide to Medicaid beneficiaries. They also conspired to bill Medicaid for dentures and other dental services for beneficiaries who were ineligible to receive those services because they weren't medically necessary. Dr. Dye pleaded guilty on February 11, 2016, to healthcare fraud in a separate but related case. His license was suspended by the Missouri Dental Board due to substandard patient care at the Van Dries' clinics, according to the attorny's office.

In addition, the Van Dries engaged in a payroll tax fraud conspiracy from January 31, 2013, to January 31, 2015. Although payroll taxes were withheld from the paychecks of all employees at All About Smiles and PL Family Management Company, the Van Dries failed to pay the withheld funds -- approximately $195,000 -- to the IRS.

Meanwhile, the Van Dries diverted a substantial amount of money from their businesses during this period, and they purchased and made payments on a Tracker boat and trailer, a recreational vehicle, multiple vehicles (including a Hummer and a Mercedes), several utility trailers, two golf carts, a motorcycle, expenses associated with two homes and family vacations in Florida, and a pulling truck called Momma's Money that was used by Pamela Van Drie's son in pulling competitions in Missouri, according to the attorney's office.

Pamela Van Drie was also found guilty of an additional eight counts of healthcare fraud related to fraudulent claims for speech aid prostheses and 10 counts of healthcare fraud related to fraudulent claims for dentures and other dental services. Furthermore, she was found guilty of one count of theft of public money related to $3,520 in unemployment benefits she wasn't entitled to receive while working full-time at All About Smiles.

Meanwhile, Lorin Van Drie was also found guilty of an additional 18 counts of failure to pay over employment tax and one count of theft of public money related to $11,840 in unemployment benefits that he was not entitled to receive while working at his own construction company and doing maintenance work at All About Smiles. Sentencing has not yet been scheduled for Lorin Van Drie.


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