NASHVILLE, Tenn. – June 7, 2019 – Richard N. Schott, 51, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, was sentenced today to 33 months in federal prison for operating a scheme to defraud healthcare benefit programs, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee. Chief U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr., also ordered Schott to pay $956,448.00 in restitution.
Schott, a licensed dentist, and his former practice administrator, Kendra Glenn, were charged in November 2018 with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Schott pleaded guilty in November and Glenn, also facing seven counts of healthcare fraud, is scheduled for trial on December 3, 2019.
Schott owned and operated Dental Excellence, a dental practice with three locations in Murfreesboro and one location in Lebanon, Tennessee. Between November 2013 and January 2018, Schott caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to healthcare benefit programs, including Delta Dental, Cigna, TennCare and DentaQuest, TennCare’s dental benefits program administrator. The fraudulent claims included billing for dental work that had not been completed or performed at all; falsifying dates of service to appear to comply with benefit programs’ timeframe and preauthorization requirements; falsifying claims to appear that services had been rendered by a benefits program credentialed dentist; falsifying supporting documents and adding false narratives to support the upcoding of claims; and others, including continuing to submit false claims after being advised by insurance companies that audits had determined a pattern of false claims and that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was conducting a criminal investigation into the company’s billing practices.
Schott took steps to conceal the fraud by discouraging employees from questioning billing practices; instructing employees to lie if questioned by insurance companies; and disciplining and even firing employees who questioned the legality of the billing practices. Schott used the proceeds from the fraudulent scheme for his own personal use and paid bonuses to Glenn based on the amount of money collected from the fraudulent scheme.
As a result of Schott’s fraudulent scheme, many patients were forced to wait months and even years in pain, to have necessary dental work completed by other dentists, while their insurance companies resolved the false claims.
As noted above, Schott was ordered to pay restitution to TennCare, Tennessee’s Medicaid program, which is funded by state and federal tax dollars and provides medical and dental care to certain minors and indigent individuals.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn W. Booth, Sarah K. Bogni and Byron Jones.
Kendra Glenn is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.