A Wisconsin dentist who made millions by intentionally breaking his patients' teeth so he could convince their insurance carriers to pay for the unnecessary crowns has been found guilty of his charges and may face decades in prison.

Scott Charmoli, a 61-year-old licensed dentist from Grafton, has been convicted of five counts of health care fraud and two counts of making a false statement about his patients' treatment. He will face up to 10 years for each fraud count and a maximum of five years for each of the false statement counts, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

"By breaking the patient’s tooth, Charmoli would cause permanent disfigurement and bodily injury," prosecutors alleged in court documents.

For years, Charmoli convinced his patients to undergo crown procedures on their healthy teeth and charged them for repairing the damage he had caused.

He would show his patients X-rays of their tooth and then highlight a line or space, lying to them it was a fracture or some type of decay that needed immediate medical attention.

Because patients regarded him as an 'expert', they would believe his false representations and agree to the crown procedure.

"After convincing patients they needed crowns, Charmoli intentionally broke his patients’ teeth with his drill and took pictures and x-rays of the damage he caused," the release said.

He then sent those images to the patients' insurance companies as support for his requests for payment for the crown procedures.

"Insurance companies assumed that those images of damage represented the pre-operative condition of the teeth, and as a result, paid the claims. Many of Charmoli’s patients also paid significant co-pays for these crown procedures," the news release states.

Charmoli took home more than $4.2 million for crown procedures between 2016 and 2019 from just one insurance company, prosecutors said.

According to the release, the king of crowns performed more than 1,000 crowns each in 2015 and 2016 and over 700 crowns each year from 2017 to 2019.

"Evidence also showed that in addition to submitting x-rays to insurance companies of damage he caused, Charmoli made false statements to dental insurers when they denied initial claims for crown coverage," the statement read.

During Charmoli's trial, his former patient Todd Tedeschi told the court that the dentist convinced him to get two crowns done at once even though his teeth were not bothering him, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"It seemed excessive, but I didn’t know any better," Tedeschi said. "He was the professional. I just trusted him."

By the end of 2020, Charmoli’s assets were worth more than $6.8million and owned various properties in Wisconsin and Arizona, according to prosecutors.

Scott Charmoli
Scott Charmoli, 61, of Grafton, Wisconsin, was convicted of five counts of health care fraud and two counts of making a false statement. Hartford Family Dental Care.

The scam to light after Charmoli sold Jackson Family Dentistry to Dr. Pako Major in 2019.

Major went through Charmoli's records to find that his crown placement numbers were exceedingly high.

"I felt the ethical obligation to report activity that I believed to be suspicious," Major wrote on the dentistry's website. "The health and safety of patients is my highest concern as a doctor. As medical professionals, we take an oath to ‘do no harm’ to our patients."

Nila Robinson, Charmoli's attorney had denied the allegations against her client.

"He certainly denies that his hard-earned wealth of many, many years of dental practice at the 40 to 60 hour per week range are the product of anything other than his own diligence, hard work and good business acumen," Robinson said, according to court documents of a 2020 arraignment.

In Feb 2021, Charmoli's dentistry license was revoked pending an investigation by the state’s Dentistry Examining Board.

He faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced in June.

Suspect Handcuffed
Representational image. Reuters

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