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Five charged in dental clinic Medicaid scam

Five Miami residents who ran a dental clinic here are accused of receiving more than $715,000 in a Medicaid scam involving poor children throughout central Florida.

The defendants performed routine dental services, but billed Medicaid for more extensive and expensive work, state Attorney General Charlie Crist said Friday.

Two of the defendants drove around public housing projects, soliciting children as patients with promises of free food, Crist's office said. Often the children's teeth were X-rayed by people unlicensed to do so, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

Arrested Thursday in Miami were Dr. Sonia Bonilla Guzman, 43, and her sister, Dr. Anamaria Bonilla Mendez, 38, both licensed dentists who have dental practices in Miami. Also arrested were John Anthony Rubio, 31; Gustavo Adolfo Fernandez, 35; and his wife, Iliana Martin-Fernandez, 34.

The defendants were charged with a total of 130 separate felony counts, with charges including racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, Medicaid provider fraud, patient brokering, and violations of the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act.

_ Wire reports