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News >  Idaho

Prosecutors seek higher restitution in dentist fraud case

Associated Press

BOISE – Federal prosecutors are seeking higher restitution from a western Idaho woman who authorities say performed work as a dentist and billed insurance companies despite being licensed as a dental hygienist.

Cherie R. Dillon pleaded guilty in January to multiple counts of health care fraud and aggravated identity theft. She was sentenced to five years in federal prison in June, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Dillon, 62, performed dental procedures that exceeded her licensing at her practice in Payette, including drilling and pulling teeth and providing fillings and dentures, according to authorities.

Dillon billed insurance companies and Medicaid between 2010 and 2013 for those services. Authorities said the billings were fraudulent because they were illegally performed, including her hygienist duties that were carried out without supervision from a dentist.

A federal judge in October ordered Dillon to forfeit $847,016 from those billings and pay restitution of $139,770 to 11 insurance companies. Both Dillon and federal prosecutors have appealed the ruling, with her seeking a reduction and the government seeking an increase.

Prosecutors filed a new complaint last week, seeking additional damages for the fraudulent Medicaid claims. The prosecutors asked that Dillon to be assessed at three times the amount of actual damages. A specific amount sought was not listed.

The previous ruling listed a restitution of $101,612 for the Medicaid claims.

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