Unlicensed Dentist Gets Two Years in Jail for Fraud, Kickback Scheme

Dentistry Today


Luis Omar Vargas has been sentenced to two years in prison for defrauding health insurance companies by billing for false claims, billing for claims that he performed as an unlicensed provider, and for conspiring to pay kickbacks to his patients, according to Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York

“Luis Omar Vargas and his codefendants devised a scheme to defraud insurance companies by charging them for services never performed. In addition, Vargas, who is not a licensed dentist, charged insurance companies for services he was not even licensed to perform. Now, Vargas will spend time in prison for his financial crimes,” Berman said.

From 2012 through November 2017, Vargas and others conspired and participated in a scheme to defraud insurance providers of more than $2 million in the Southern District of New York, prosecutors report. Vargas and others induced patients to be seen at a dental clinic on the Upper West Side of Manhattan by offering patients a $25 cash kickback.

Vargas was convicted after a two-week jury trial before US District Judge Ronnie Abrams, who imposed the sentence. In addition to the prison term, Vargas, 46, of Roselle, New Jersey, was sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $959,150 in restitution. 

Codefendant Dr. Megmet Dikengil, 71, pled guilty on September 13, 2018, to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of healthcare fraud, and one count of conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback statute and was sentenced on January 25, 2019, to two years in prison. Anna Jones, 60, pled guilty on August 14, 2018, to one count of theft of government funds and was sentenced on February 14, 2019, to three years of probation.

Related Articles

Unlicensed Dentist Faces Jail Time for Healthcare Fraud

Colorado Dental Practice Owner Charged With $400,000 in Medicaid Fraud

Iowa Dentist Prevails in Denial of Claims Appeal