Silver Spring dentist sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for attempting to fraudulently obtain Medicaid funds by recruiting Medicaid beneficiaries via payment of kickbacks and kickbacks | USAO-MD
green belt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang today sentenced Edward T. Buford III, 70, of Silver Spring, Maryland, to 30 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to view to commit mail fraud and health care fraud. Judge Chuang also ordered Buford to pay $1,267,630 in restitution.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Wayne Jacobs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Washington Field Office Criminal Division; Special Agent in Charge Maureen Dixon, Bureau of Investigations, Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services; Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General, Philadelphia Field Division; and Daniel W. Lucas, Inspector General of the District of Columbia.
Buford was a licensed dentist in Washington, D.C. and the owner and CEO of International Dental Associates, Inc. (IDA), a dental clinic located in Washington, D.C. According to his guilty plea, from January 2013 to May 2018, Buford led a scheme to file fraudulent Medicaid claims for dental services to Medicaid beneficiaries and recruit Medicaid beneficiaries to fuel the scheme by paying kickbacks and kickbacks.
Buford caused Medicaid claims to be submitted for a variety of dental services, including dentures. As part of the conspiracy, Buford paid bribes to patient recruiters in exchange for referring Medicaid recipients to IDA for dental services. Under Buford’s direction, recruiters offered cash bribes to recipients to visit IDA and accept dental services. Medicaid paid far more for dentures than for many other dental services, including dental cleanings. Buford paid larger bribes to recruiters—about $50 per recipient—for recipients who agreed to be fitted with dentures, and typically paid recruited recipients $20 to be fitted with dentures. dental prosthesis. Buford knew that Medicaid would not have paid the claims had he known they had been obtained through kickbacks and kickbacks.
As detailed in the plea agreement, even though the dentures required multiple visits to be fitted and delivered, Buford arranged for recruiters and beneficiaries to be paid only for the initial visit – after which Buford could bill Medicaid for dentures – and many recipients never returned to IDA. after receiving the cash bribe. Buford stored hundreds of undelivered prostheses at IDA facilities, many of which had been billed and paid for by Medicaid. As part of the scheme, Buford maintained a post office box in Silver Spring, Maryland as IDA’s billing address and received fraudulently obtained payments there.
Based on the amount Medicaid paid Buford and IDA for dentures that were not delivered, the actual loss to Medicaid was at least $1,267,630.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, HHS-OIG, the DC Office of the Inspector General’s Medicaid Fraud Enforcement Unit, and the SSA-OIG for their work in the ‘investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jessica C. Collins and Kelly O. Hayes, who prosecuted the case.
For more information about the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and the resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md /community-outreach.
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