Livingston Dentist Charged in $5.5M Medicaid Scam

The Livingston resident was one of seven people indicted in connected with the scam Thursday, officials said.

A dentist from Livingston accused in a scam that stole over $5.5M from Medicaid over six years was indicted Thursday, along with six of her alleged accomplices, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced in a release Thursday.

According to the release, Mary D. “Marydee” Anerousis, 47, worked as a practicing dentist at New Jersey Mobile Dental in Colts Neck, which overbilled Medicaid for practices they provided at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care facilities, and private homes throughout the state.

Anerousis, four other dentists and two office managers are implicated in the 31-count indictment, which charged the group with conspiracy, insurance fraud, health care claims fraud, theft by deception and misconduct by a corporate official, all in the second degree, and third-degree Medicaid fraud, the release said.

“These defendants’ alleged actions not only defrauded the Medicaid program, but also preyed upon vulnerable individuals who sought to utilize NJ Mobile’s services,” Chiesa said.

According to the indictment, Anerousis and her accomplices allegedly overbilled Medicaid for services and added arbitrary charges, like a “Behavior Management,” charge and a “trip charge” to almost every Medicaid patient they treated, Chiesa said.

Between Jan. 2003 and Aug. 2009, the dentists also allegedly submitted 3,714 claims to Medicaid for dental procedures that were never performed, and in one case even submitted a claim for a procedure done on a patient who was deceased, the release said.

An investigation into the practices of the now-defunct company began last year when the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit uncovered NJ Mobile’s suspicious billing, the release said. The investigation included undercover surveillance, and a search of the Colts Neck office, officials said.

The group is facing at least five years in state prison, and fines of up to $150,000, per count.

Debbie D'Auria February 09, 2013 at 05:23 PM
And we wonder why our Government is in such a state? Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security? It is because of people like this who take advantage of the system and get away with it ......Why did it take so long for then to figure it out? 5.5 million dollars later? and they might get a $150,000 fine? What about restitution to the tune of 5.5 million?
Nancy Heins-Glaser February 10, 2013 at 07:58 AM
Fraud on all levels of health care has been ongoing for YEARS. As a care manager of 40 years, watching change in insurance, medical "best practices" and the economy is mind-numbing. Trials to reduce costs began with (hosp VS home care) benefits exchange - moved to DOLLAR limits on auto injuries TO oversight for fraud. False fits/starts of 40 years+ diversions haven't yielded guality results. The late 80's gave us unkept promises more money for better community mental health care by closing mental hospitals while saving money. Gun violence anyone? Ins industry (medicare IS insurance too) has taken hits thru fraud as Ins co's couldnt justify spending money to fully investigate claims and providers. Return on savings wasnt always clear. Bad people (co's, practitioners, patients) are good at finding a line - watching to see no one notices, keep going. Once approved others rubber stamp charges. Pre-ex conditions, excluded some but was "mean spirited." Catastropic injuries are costly, costs were shifted to State (ie medicaid) or Fed Ins plans (medicare) from auto industry. "No fault" dollars were saved but who benefited? Patients are totally in charge of their own care --past "educated health consumer" beware! Patients are on their own/must navigate a health system when in pain, traumatized, confused, fearful. MDs/staff aren't responsible to coordinate care; providers are confused as each plan has variations. Poor planning=penny wise=pound foolish= bad outcomes.
Ann Powers February 10, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Gov't should look into all contracts w/all health-care providers who have contracts w/nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and at-home-care agencies. They make weekly "rounds" - pop their head in the door, ask, "How are you doin'?" and charge a few hundred dollars for the effort. If Granny is feeling a little blue or just wants some attention, she may say, "Oh, you know, my arm has been aching." Before you know it, there's a major workup - along w/major bills. What a racket.
Walter O. February 10, 2013 at 05:17 PM
Agreed! They all need to pay it back and go to jail. Why did it take so long to uncover?
BillBalls February 10, 2013 at 06:42 PM
In New Jersey one will be put in jail for a MANDATORY 7 years for the crime of owning an unregistered BB gun. I Kidd you not, if your house burns down and they find your unregistered Red Rider BB gun, that had been tucked away and forgotten about in your attic from you childhood days, you WILL go to jail for 7 years. We read about medical fraud like this all the time. Maybe it is time the legislators start proposing 50 year mandatory sentences for fraudulent activity of this nature, along with government seizer of their personal properties and wealth, which then can sold be to help reimburse the general public (taxpayers) from which this money was stolen Better yet, let’s put them in a stock too, and then parade them from town to town with a sign hanging from their necks that says – I am a common criminal and I stole money from you.
pat jackson February 10, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Yes, a racket it is. Sad for the seniors or people that are on disability that really need the assistance and can not receive the medical attention. So, what is a solution to prevent this from happening over and over again? This not the first and it won't be the last. Ann, that sounds good, as long as the people with the contracts will not take kick backs, and we will be right back where we started fraud! I take it that her dental license will be revoke and when she comes out of prison, she will be not be able to pratice again in any other states.
Nancy Heins-Glaser February 10, 2013 at 11:17 PM
HOW TO PUNISH THOSE FRAUDS? Can criminal justice keep up with all bad behaviors? We want less government; its means less oversight of costs and more chances for bad acting. Banks/lenders are shown to be predatory - giving false hope and outrageous loans. Whose fault is this - people? Banks? Criminal charges for greed are needed for them too. How do we do the fix in NJ? Blame "greedy teachers" for "kids fail/state's broke!" Scapegoats aren't new. Lets try to blame ONE person/ONE arm of government/ONE party/politician. People not keeping up with mortgages?Its irresponsible mortgage holders -- wait/its a lenders' problem. ALL costs require monitoring/nipping errors in the bud/looking for trends. Its USAs FITS AND STARTs -- try this, no /stop that and try this way NOW all based on politics. Each change interrupts continuity. Our money days set us up/but we were happy. Lower home equity loans were good for many. We didn't see dangers as we were into"ourselves." We find out corps/banks HEDGED a BET against themselves. Is this acceptable? What crimes were they punished for? Rampant ID theft, on line crimes, and ponzi schemes aren't new. Medical theft is a ponzi scheme. Standard & Poor's ratings were fake. What happened to them? We're part/parcel of the problem. Maybe if we see a collective pool of money - we'll care less about SAVE ME MONEY NOW. Putting money where our mouth is/is needed now. If there's a will/there's a way - IF we do it together. Zero tolerance for fraud.
Carla Gabriele February 11, 2013 at 06:01 PM
If you don't know the situation, don't comment. She did absolutely nothing wrong. She worked for the wrong person that's the problem. Get the facts straight. There's two sides to every story and unfortunately an innocent person is paying for someone else's wrongdoing.
Comfortably Numb February 13, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Walter O, what is your basis to assume 6 years is a long time? Have you ever been part of a Medicaid or Medicare fraud investigation???
Comfortably Numb February 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM
Unfortunately Carla, if website article comments were comments from people that understood situations there would be no comments.
Deidre Trama February 26, 2013 at 09:29 PM
Yes Carla. We both personally know MaryDee. She is an exceptional mother, daughter, wife and friend. I have never known her to be anything other than honest and kind. Everyone's all ready to judge without knowing the facts.


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