RUTLAND — A Rutland dentist was sentenced Thursday to more than three months of home confinement and ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution for filing false Medicaid claims.
Dr. Peter Gray, 54, pleaded guilty in January to two felony counts of Medicaid fraud and two misdemeanor counts of false pretense.
On Thursday, Judge Theresa DiMauro sentenced him to six months to six years in jail — all suspended except for 110 days in home confinement. Gray, who also has a pending felony lewd and lascivious charge that he has denied, was also ordered to pay restitution and participate in substance abuse and mental health counseling, according to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office.
“Provider fraud costs us all money with no benefit to anyone’s health,” Attorney General William Sorrell said in a written statement. “We hope this case serves as a strong deterrent to those providers who would take advantage of the system and lie about the care that they provide to Vermont Medicaid beneficiaries.”
Gray was originally charged with 23 counts of fraud and false pretense, but prosecutors agreed to drop all but four of those charges as part of a plea deal.
The charges were the result of a 2010 investigation in which prosecutors said Gray repeatedly bilked the Medicaid system by billing for phony procedures. Investigators said Gray claimed to be removing cysts from patients when he was unnecessarily removing healthy tissue.
Gray was reprimanded and had conditions placed on his license in 2005 by the Board of Dental Examiners after he admitted to illicit drug use. The board revoked his license in 2007 for similar reasons, then restored it in 2008 after he underwent drug treatment, with conditions that included drug testing.
An assistant attorney general said in the past that the state had put a hold on roughly $80,000 in Medicaid claims Gray made and that the restitution he is required to pay will be taken from those funds.
Gray will be prohibited from participating as a provider in the Medicaid program for at least five years due to his conviction.
His dental license has been under suspension by the Office of Professional Regulation for more than a year.
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