Former dental clinic owner sentenced for health care and payroll tax fraud

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Courtesy: MGN

SPRINGFIELD, Mo- A woman from Marshfield has been sentenced for multiple fraud schemes that totaled more than $1 million.

According to the Office of the United States Attorney Western District of Missouri, the schemes involved Medicaid payments to her dental clinics, failing to pay over payroll taxes and collecting unemployment benefits she wasn’t entitled to receive.

Pamela M. Van Drie, 59, was sentenced on Wednesday to four years and nine months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Van Drie to pay $1,139,794 in restitution.

Van Drie and her husband, Lorin G. Van Drie, 60, were convicted at trial on Feb. 20, 2019, of all 40 counts contained in a federal indictment, according to the press release.

Pamela and her husband were the owners of All About Smiles LLC. The company provided dental services at clinics in Springfield, Mountain Grove, and Bolivar. All three locations closed between 2014-2015. The couple also owned PL Family Management Company, LLC, which managed the staff for those clinics, according to the press release.

According to the Office of the United States Attorney Western District of Missouri, Pamela Van Drie participated in a conspiracy to commit health care fraud from Oct. 6, 2010, to Aug. 19, 2015. This conspiracy consisted of two fraud schemes. Pamela Van Drie and Dr. James R. Dye, a dentist at the clinics, conspired to fraudulently bill Medicaid for speech aid prosthetics they did not provide to Medicaid beneficiaries. They also conspired to bill Medicaid for dentures and other dental services for beneficiaries who were ineligible to receive such services because the services were not medically necessary.

The press release states,

“In the first scheme, Pamela Van Drie and Dye purchased Ortho-Tain orthodontic appliances (designed to straighten teeth without braces) for approximately $50 each, provided them to Medicaid pediatric beneficiaries and billed each such appliance to Medicaid as a speech aid prosthesis for approximately $695. They knew the Ortho-Tain appliances should have been billed to Medicaid as orthodontic services; they also knew Medicaid did not cover orthodontic services unless the Medicaid program’s requirements were met and they received precertification, which required review by a dentist/orthodontist employed by Medicaid. They billed the Ortho-Tain appliances as speech aid prostheses in order to bypass the precertification requirement. Between Oct. 6, 2010, and Aug. 19, 2015, Pamela Van Drie submitted and received payment for approximately 241 claims submitted for speech aid prostheses. On each claim, All About Smiles (or its predecessor company) was paid between $675 to $695, for an approximate total amount of $165,700. In the second scheme, Pamela Van Drie and Dye arranged for All About Smiles to provide dentures and other dental services to adults who did not qualify for Medicaid reimbursement. They submitted claims to Medicaid for those dentures and other dental services, knowing that Medicaid’s requirements were not met. Pamela Van Drie, through All About Smiles, submitted and received $720,048 on numerous claims for dentures and other dental services that lacked the required written referral from a physician. Dye pleaded guilty on Feb. 11, 2016, to health care fraud in a separate but related case. According to court documents, the Missouri Dental Board suspended Dye’s license, a suspension that arose from his substandard care for patients at the Van Dries’s clinics.”

The total of these two fraud schemes is $885,748.

Pamela and her husband also took part in a conspiracy to defraud the government by not paying the IRS payroll taxes from Jan. 31, 2013, to Jan. 31, 2015.

The press release states, that the payroll taxes were withheld from the paychecks of employees at All About Smiles and PL Family Management Company.

The couple failed to pay $194,751 in payroll taxes.

The Van Dries used that money to purchase and make payments on: a Tracker boat and trailer, a recreational vehicle, multiple vehicles (including a 2010 Hummer and a 2009 Mercedes), several utility trailers, two golf carts, a motorcycle, expenses associated with two homes and family vacations in Florida, and a pulling truck called “Momma’s Money,” which Pamela Van Drie’s son used in pulling competitions throughout Missouri, according to the press release.

On top of these two criminal conspiracies, Pamela was found guilty of eight counts of health care fraud-related to fraudulent claims for speech aid prostheses and 10 counts of health care fraud-related to fraudulent claims for dentures and other dental services. She was also was found guilty of one count of theft of public money related to $3,520 in unemployment benefits that she was not entitled to receive while working full-time at All About Smiles.

The press release states,

“From June 2012 through the end of December 2012, Medicaid paid into Pamela and Lorin Van Drie’s business bank account three-quarters of a million dollars. Also during that time period, Pamela Van Drie took a weeklong vacation to a resort in Florida. Nonetheless, from June 2012 through January 2013, Pamela Van Drie falsely certified to the Missouri Department of Employment Security 31 times that she was not employed, was available and searching for work, and was not receiving any type of employment income. In addition to the payroll tax conspiracy, Lorin Van Drie also was found guilty of 18 counts of failure to pay over employment tax and one count of theft of public money related to $11,840 in unemployment benefits that he was not entitled to receive while working at his own construction company and doing maintenance work at All About Smiles.”

Under federal law, Lorin Van Drie is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole for theft of unemployment benefits and five years in federal prison without parole on each additional count of conviction. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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