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Mount Vernon dentist pleads guilty to fraud

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A Mount Vernon dentist was ordered to pay $200,000 in a Medicaid fraud case.

In a recent guilty plea, Dr. Thomas Alms agreed to surrender his dental license and be subject to five years of probation, according to a news release issued yesterday by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office.

“The Medicaid program provides health benefits to low-income families who don’t have access to health care,” Schmitt said in the release. “Cheating the system is actually cheating all the Missourians who rely on Medicaid and the taxpayers of the state of Missouri.”

The Missouri attorney general’s fraud control unit found that between Aug. 21, 2014, and June 14, 2016, Alms submitted multiple false Medicaid claims through his Mount Vernon Dental clinic.

The fraudulent claims, according to the release, were for bone grafts, fillings, pulp vitality tests, and office and preorthodontic visits.

Chris Nuelle, spokesman for Schmitt’s office, said the latest action taken against Alms was separate than a previous civil lawsuit filed against the dentist by the Missouri attorney general in 2011. At the time, Springfield Business Journal reported then Attorney General Chris Koster filed a civil lawsuit against Alms and his wife for false Medicaid claims.

Nuelle was unsure whether Alms faced penalties from the 2011 attorney general case.

In January 2018, KY3 reported Alms’ Mount Vernon clinic was destroyed in a fire under suspicious circumstances.

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