Officials: Grafton dentist damaged patients' teeth on purpose so he could bill insurance

Officials: Grafton dentist damaged patients’ teeth on purpose so he could bill insurance

GRAFTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A Grafton dentist has been indicted on federal health care fraud charges. Federal investigators say 60-year-old Scott Charmoli falsely advised patients they needed crowns for teeth that were not broken. They say the Grafton man would then purposefully damage patients’ teeth so he could bill insurance companies for unnecessary procedures.

“I never really had problems with my teeth and then all of a sudden it was I needed a crown or a root canal again, eventually got to the point where I got a second opinion and a lot of what he was telling me was wrong," Stephanie Pohl said. 

Pohl was a patient of Dr. Charmoli when he owned Jackson Family Dentistry. 

“I opened a Care Credit account and then had to pay a lot of money out of pocket," Pohl said. 

The indictment states Charmoli performed $2 million worth of crown procedures between Jan. 1, 2018 and Aug. 7, 2019.

Melissa Czinner is another former patient. She described a similar experience. 

“I have a friend who is a hygienist and I kind of just mentioned it to her, she thought it was odd that they would keep pushing crowns," Czinner said. 

Dr. Thomas Shaw is the president of the Greater Milwaukee Dental Association. He says dental patients should trust their gut.

“If patients feel uncomfortable with what’s going on, they need to get a second opinion. An informed patient should be totally informed of the treatment they are receiving and have their questions answered," Dr. Shaw said. 

CBS 58 learned that Charmoli works at Hartford Family Dental. CBS went to the office but staff turned us away.

We're told Charmoli is not in custody. His arraignment date is scheduled for Dec. 30.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

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