Not A Sweet Ending

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Corrupt doctor with money in his pocket

What is more cringe worthy than a trip to the dentist where you get root canals, cavities filled, and tooth extractions? A dentist who lies about performing those procedures at the expense of taxpayers. (It’s painful, no matter how you look at it.)

Yun Sup Kim of St. Louis was sentenced for defrauding Illinois Medicaid out of thousands of dollars. Kim used his dental practice to fraudulently bill Medicaid over the course of three years.

Kim pleaded guilty in February to three counts of health care fraud as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. In exchange for pleading guilty, a wire fraud charge and nine other counts of healthcare fraud pending against him were dropped.

From 2014 to 2017, Kim falsely billed Medicaid for cavity fillings and surgical tooth extractions that did not occur. This includes billing Medicaid for over 1,300 patients by falsely claiming he performed cavity fillings. (For those records to be accurate Kim would have had to have performed eight fillings or more per day. I’m getting a toothache just thinking about the amount of sweets it would take to cause that many cavities.) 

While Kim did perform routine teeth extractions, he billed Medicaid under the guise of performing surgical extractions which are more complex and expensive than the alternative. Kim also admitted to distorting dates on official records so he could dodge Medicaid billing regulations regarding the usage of dental sealants. (He can now add amateur forger as well as fraudster to his resume.)

As part of his plea deal, the prosecutors involved in the case recommended probation and no fine in exchange for Kim’s dental license being revoked and a restitution payment of $671,845.20. (Kim has since paid the restitution amount in full.)

Despite the prosecutor’s recommendations, the judge sentenced him to serve 12 months and a day in federal prison and a year of supervised release. (The judge wanted to teach this criminal that he can’t get away with yanking out federal healthcare benefits without a little pain.)  

Kim will be eligible in three years to petition the state of Illinois Dentistry licensing board for reinstatement. (I’m not a betting man, but I wouldn’t count on his odds of being reinstated. Let’s just say the tooth fairy won’t be leaving him any money under his pillow.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from an article, “Swansea dentist who defrauded Illinois Medicaid is sentenced in federal court,” published by MSN on August 14, 2020.

A Swansea dentist accused of defrauding Illinois Medicaid of thousands of dollars over a period of several years has been sentenced to serve a year and a day in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Yun Sup Kim, 49, of St. Louis, appeared via teleconference in the U.S. District Court of Southern Illinois on Thursday to hear his sentence.

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.