Federal prosecutors say it was a symbiotic relationship.
Dental clinic owner Pamela Van Drie needed a dentist who would go along with her plan to defraud Medicaid without asking too many questions.
And dentist James Dye needed a dental office willing to hire him despite the multiple complaints brought against him for shoddy care.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri says Dye and Van Drie teamed up to defraud the government of more than $165,000 in a scheme involving mouthpieces between 2010 and 2015.
Prosecutors say Dye would provide patients with $50 Ortho-Tain devices that look similar to football mouth guards and are designed to straighten teeth. Van Drie would then bill the devices to Medicaid as “speech aid prosthesis” for almost $700 through the Springfield-based business All About Smiles that Van Drie owned with her husband, Lorin.