June 25, 2012 -- A prominent Delaware dentist was sentenced to nine months in prison after being found guilty of bilking the state's Medicaid program out of more than $71,900.
Marieve Rodriguez, DMD, who had negotiated a plea agreement that only called for home confinement, broke down after a judge announced the sentence, according to a story on delawareonline.com.
Dr. Rodriguez, who operates Gentle Care Family Dentistry in Wilmington, will lose her license for a year. Her sentence also includes a $100,000 fine, repaying prosecution costs of $49,000, paying $71,900 restitution, and 600 hours of community service.
The judge said although prosecutors were not asking for prison time, he felt a message had to be sent to medical providers that if you commit this kind of sustained, methodical fraud, there will be a severe punishment.
Dr. Rodriguez will also be prohibited from participating in the state's Medicaid program for five years.
Dr. Rodriguez, who had pleaded guilty to 10 misdemeanor counts of filing false Medicaid reports, apologized in court for her "really bad judgment."