Dallas dentist ordered to pay $12 million for Medicaid fraud

In a Medicaid fraud case that has lasted for more than a decade, disgraced Dallas dentist Richard Malouf must pay Texas an estimated $12 million. In a major government rip-off, Malouf fraudulently billed Medicaid for dental services that were provided by another dentist.

The founder of orthodontist chain All Smiles Dental Center, Malouf made more than 1,800 false billings. The Texas Office of the Attorney General made the announcement on May 14. The federal investigation into Malouf's business began in 2008 related to services provided to patients.

Long history of the Malouf case

The federal investigation into Malouf began in 2008 as investigators looked into dental and orthodontics services All Smiles Dental Center provided by Texas Medicaid patients from 2007 to 2008. A whistleblower then filed a lawsuit against All Smiles in 2012, claiming that Malouf and All Smiles provided unnecessary services, failed to document services, permitted unqualified workers to perform services, billed Medicaid for services that were not provided, and paid kickbacks to people it recruited as Medicaid clients.

The whistleblower, Christine Ellis, a Dallas orthodontist, testified before the U.S. Congress in April 2012, that she performed a Texas Medicaid audit of All Smiles' books from 2007 to 2011. She found "unbelievable" examples of fraud and noted that only 10% of the claims she audited qualified for Medicaid coverage. Federal officials in 2012 secured a $1.2 million settlement from Malouf and All Smiles related to Medicaid fraud.

Malouf sold All Smiles to a private equity firm in 2010. By May 2012, All Smiles had filed for bankruptcy.

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