Dentist Pleads Guilty to Unlawfully Acquiring Medicaid Cash and Spending Recruiters to Refer Medicaid Beneficiaries to His Dental Office environment in Trade for Kickbacks | USAO-MD

Greenbelt, Maryland – Edward T. Buford III, age 70, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded responsible on May well 4, 2022, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and health care fraud. As element of his guilty plea, Buford will be essential to fork out $1,267,630 in restitution.

The responsible plea was introduced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron Unique Agent in Cost Wayne Jacobs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Washington Discipline Workplace Prison Division Unique Agent in Demand Maureen Dixon, Office environment of Investigations, Workplace of Inspector Normal of the Division of Well being and Human Solutions Unique Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Protection Administration – Business of Inspector Basic, Philadelphia Discipline Division and Daniel W. Lucas, Inspector Standard for the District of Columbia.

In accordance to his responsible plea, from January 2013 to May well 2018, Buford and other people devised and executed a scheme to defraud Medicaid for the District of Columbia by submitting fraudulent Medicaid claims for dental solutions to Medicaid beneficiaries, acquiring the fraudulently acquired funds from Medicaid, and recruiting Medicaid beneficiaries to fuel the plan by way of the payment of kickbacks and bribes. 

Buford was a accredited dentist in Washington, D.C. and the owner and Chief Executive Officer of International Dental Associates, Inc. (IDA), a dental clinic located in Washington, D.C.  Before 2015, Buford was enrolled as a Medicaid supplier, having said that, in April 2015, Medicaid suspended payments to Buford underneath his company number.  

Right after Buford’s supplier amount was suspended in 2015, Buford and his organization spouse/IDA manager (Co-conspirator 1) continued to submit promises to Medicaid by IDA’s service provider number.  In April 2016, Buford and Co-conspirator 1 re-enrolled IDA as a supplier in Medicaid.  Inside of IDA’s software, Buford and Co-conspirator 1 failed to disclose Buford’s suspension from Medicaid.  

Buford and his co-conspirators triggered the submission of Medicaid claims by Buford and IDA for a wide range of dental solutions, like dentures.  As portion of the conspiracy, Buford and Co-conspirator 1 presented and paid kickbacks to Co-conspirator 2 and other affected person recruiters in exchange for referring Medicaid beneficiaries to IDA for dental companies, even though Medicaid would not pay back claims had it known they had been procured as a result of kickbacks.  Medicaid paid substantially much more for dentures than for quite a few other dental services, including dental cleanings, and Buford and Co-conspirator 1 compensated Co-conspirator 2 larger funds kickbacks for beneficiaries that agreed to be fitted for dentures—approximately $50 for each beneficiary—than for beneficiaries who only agreed to acquire dental cleanings.

At Buford and Co-conspirator 1’s way, Co-conspirator 2 supplied Medicaid beneficiaries income bribes to induce them to check out and accept dental products and services from IDA.  Buford and his co-conspirators typically paid out better amounts to beneficiaries who agreed to be fitted for dentures than all those who only agreed to acquire cleanings.  Even however dentures essential numerous visits to fit and supply, Buford and his co-conspirators compensated the beneficiaries only for the initial visit—after which Buford and his co-conspirators could bill Medicaid for the dentures—and quite a few beneficiaries by no means returned to IDA soon after receiving the money bribe.  Accordingly, Buford and his co-conspirators saved hundreds of undelivered dentures on IDA’s premises, numerous of which experienced been billed to and paid out for by Medicaid.  

As part of the plan to defraud, Buford maintained a Article Office box in Silver Spring, Maryland as IDA’s billing tackle and obtained the fraudulently acquired money at that spot.  For example, on September 21, 2017, Buford brought about Medicaid to mail a examine for $17,397 to the Maryland P.O. box for services purportedly offered to 11 Medicaid beneficiaries. 

Based on the quantity that Medicaid compensated to Buford and IDA for dentures that had been not shipped, the true reduction to Medicaid was at minimum about $1,267,630. 

Buford faces a utmost sentence of 20 yrs in federal prison followed by 3 a long time of supervised launch for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and health care fraud.  U.S. District Decide Theodore D. Chuang has scheduled sentencing for August 3, 2022, at 9:00 a.m.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron counseled the FBI, HHS-OIG, the D.C. Office environment of the Inspector General’s Medicaid Fraud Management Unit, SSA-OIG for their do the job in the investigation.  Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Lawyers Jessica C. Collins and Rajeev R. Raghavan, who are prosecuting the scenario.

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