DeSantis Re-Assigns 'Tooth Fairy Heist' Case to Gainesville State Attorney

DeSantis Re-Assigns 'Tooth Fairy Heist' Case to Gainesville State Attorney

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
|
April 3, 2024

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) issued an executive order last week to re-open the investigation regarding the “Tooth Fairy Heist” case that was initially closed in Miami despite five individuals being arrested for an alleged $1.3 million insurance fraud scheme. All charges were dropped.

However, the Florida governor has re-assigned an investigation into Dr. Howard Fetner - a Jacksonville dentist connected to the scheme - to Gainesville State Attorney Brian Kramer of Florida's Eighth Judicial Circuit.

This includes “A request for a criminal investigation into Howard Fetner for allegations of false and fraudulent insurance claims, schemes to defraud, criminal use of personal identification information, and grand theft.”

Tallahassee-based Attorney William Spicola stated in a February letter to State Attorney Melissa Nelson (Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida) that he represents four dentists and potential witnesses of Medicaid fraud by ACPDO Management, Inc., the company that handled the billing services for the dentists.

According to Spicola’s letter, the dentists— Dr. Christina Puig, Dr. Alejandra Sanchez, and Dr. Dayrys Tejeda—were all allegedly fired by Dr. Fetner as a “penalty for reporting that their billing codes were being improperly used by their former employer, ACPDO Management, Inc. without their consent,” and that Dr. Fetner “had never set foot in their South Florida office.”

Spicola went on to mention, “Dr. Fetner allowed medical billing claim to be presented, submitted,  and paid under doctor Cabrerizo, Tejeda, Sanchez, Puig, Delgado, Velez, and Roman's NPIs with  the intent to deprive the insurer's.”

Gov. DeSantis has called upon  State Attorney Kramer to take over this case “regarding the investigation and prosecution of this case and all related matters regarding Howard Fetner," after Nelson recused herself because of her existing relationship with Dr. Fetner's wife.

A report from the Department of Financial Services alleged Dr. Fetner violated several statutes, including one that charges him with “False and fraudulent insurance claims," accusing him of committing $2.2 million in fraud.

Spicola reiterates that his clients are willing to work with her office to address Fetner’s alleged misconduct.

State Attorney Kramer will have until March 27, 2025 to report his findings, recommend charges, or request additional time.

This is a developing story.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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