A Chesterfield Township dentist accused of Medicaid fraud was recently captured in the Dominican Republic after evading charges for months, state authorities said.
David Johnson, 51, of Chesterfield Township, operated the alleged scheme through Livernois Dental in Detroit, which he owned but has since sold. He has been returned to the United States and is expected to be arraigned on more than two dozen felony charges in the coming weeks in Ingham County’s 54B District Court.
The 27 total charges filed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette in May include one count of racketeering, punishable by up to 20 years in prison; 20 counts of false Medicaid claims, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and six counts of false health care claims, punishable by up to four years in prison.
Johnson had been moving outside of the country evading arrest since the charges were issued until the U.S. Marshals Service apprehended him in the Caribbean, the Attorney General’s office said in a news release.
“A deliberate attempt to take advantage of the Medicaid system shows no regard for the law, and violators will face the consequences of their actions,” Schuette said. “I would like to thank the U.S. Marshals Service for their hard work and dedication to apprehending the alleged offender so that he may face these accusations in a court of law.”
The Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Division began investigating Johnson after receiving a tip he was billing the Medicaid program using the identifying information of another dentist. He was placed on the Medicaid exclusion list following Medicaid fraud convictions in 2006 and was prohibited from billing the Medicaid program.
He allegedly used the eligible dentist’s information to improperly bill $1.7 million over three years, authorities said.
“Medical professionals are expected to conduct themselves with integrity and adherence to the law,” Schuette said.
Johnson, who was in custody in Miami, Florida, after being captured, waived extradition and will be transported back to Michigan in the coming weeks, the Attorney General’s office noted.
— Digital First Media staff