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Jury convicts former dental clinic owners of $1M fraud

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A federal jury in Springfield yesterday convicted a Marshfield couple of running fraud schemes of more than $1 million through their dental companies.

Pamela Van Drie, 59, and her husband, Lorin Van Drie, 60, were found guilty Feb. 20 of all 40 counts in a November 2016 federal indictment, according to a news release issued yesterday by the office of Tim Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri. 

The Van Dries owned All About Smiles LLC, which closed its three clinics in Springfield, Bolivar and Mountain Grove between 2014 and 2015. Another business they owned, PL Family Management Co. LLC, managed staff for the clinics.

The largest scheme in the conviction was an $885,748 health care fraud conspiracy, according to the release.

In one case, Pamela Van Drie and Dr. James Dye, a dentist at the clinics, conspired to submit claims to Medicaid for dentures and other dental services for adults who did not qualify for the program. Through All About Smiles, Van Drie submitted and received $720,048 on multiple claims. 

In another case, Van Drie and Dye bought orthodontic appliances for $50 each and billed them to Medicaid as a speech aid prosthesis for $675-$695 each, netting $165,700 on the scheme that involved 241 claims, according to the release.

Dye in February 2016 pleaded guilty to health care fraud related to the claims.

A payroll tax fraud conspiracy also was part of the conviction, according to the release.

Pamela and Lorin Van Drie conspired to defraud the government by failing to pay over $194,751 in payroll taxes they withheld from employees at All About Smiles and PL Family Management. 

They used the money instead to pay for a boat, a recreational vehicle, a Hummer and a Mercedes, utility trailers, golf cars, a motorcycle, a pulling truck and expenses related to two homes and family vacations in Florida, according to the release.

Pamela Van Drie was found guilty of the two criminal conspiracies, 18 counts of health care fraud and one count of theft of public money. Her husband was found guilty of participating in the payroll tax conspiracy, as well as 18 counts of failure to pay employment taxes and one count of theft of public money. The latter count was related to $11,840 in unemployment benefits he received — but was not entitled to — while working at his own construction company and doing maintenance for All About Smiles.

Under federal statutes, Pamela Van Drie could receive a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison on each count of conviction, except for the payroll tax conspiracy, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail. Lorin Van Drie is subject to up to 10 years in federal prison for theft of unemployment benefits and five years for each additional count of conviction, according to the release.

A sentencing hearing will be scheduled following the presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

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