A former Warren dentist received a suspended prison sentence Tuesday for Medicaid fraud after making arrangements to pay about $136,032 in damages, restitution and fines within a week.
John Steven Durmon, 60, had been charged with four counts of fraud over allegations that he had fraudulently billed Medicaid 3,194 times over a 15-month period between September 2015 and December 2017 for a total of $186,461.
On Tuesday, Assistant Attorney General Sean Strode, who prosecuted the case on behalf of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, dropped three lesser counts as Durmon pleaded guilty to the Class A felony charge in exchange for a five-year suspended sentence.
"Durmon's plea, based on his appalling and unrestrained criminal conduct, underscores our decision to charge him for Medicaid fraud," said Rutledge, who is in charge of Medicaid fraud prosecutions. "We must stop this type of corruption with taxpayer dollars."
Under the arrangement negotiated by Durmon's attorney Jay Shue, a former Medicaid inspector general, the retired dentist was fined $2,500 and will pay $33,383.05 in restitution plus three times that amount in damages, $100,149.15, by next Monday.
Durmon, who is also barred from being a Medicaid provider for the next five years, can have the conviction expunged if he stays out of trouble with the law for the length of his suspended sentence.
Durmon was arrested in August. According to an arrest affidavit, the $33,383.05 represents 637 fake claims made by Durmon on behalf of 33 patients for a variety of dental services, including extractions and fillings, between September 2015 and December 2017.
Durmon also had been accused of submitting 2,557 fraudulent X-ray claims, worth $153,077.95, for 85 patients between October 2016 through December 2017.
NW News on 07/25/2019