Dentist pleads guilty to $783K overbilling scheme

Dentist pleads guilty to $783K overbilling scheme

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Glen Allen dentist pleaded guilty Wednesday to a scheme in which she fraudulently obtained more than $783,000 from Medicaid and four dental insurers.

Court documents say 47-year-old Maryam E. Zarei controlled the submission of claims to insurance companies for reimbursement at Atlee Station Family Dentistry in Mechanicsville. Between 2013 and 2016, she defrauded Medicaid, Delta Dental, AETNA, Met Life, and U.S. Healthcare for $783,680.

Zarei's scheme involved three parts, according to the Department of Justice.

First, Zarei fraudulently billed Medicaid and the insurers for services never rendered, including a variety of purported services when Zarei was out of the country.

Then she billed the insurers for services using inappropriate billing codes that resulted in higher bills than were justified by the actual service performed.

And, lastly, Zarei billed insurance companies for services performed after termination of the patients' insurance coverage and then backdated the claims documents to make it appear that the services had occurred when the insurance policies were in effect.

Zarei pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison when she's sentenced in March.

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