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Valley Dentists Facing Fraud Charges

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The owner of a Central Valley dental clinic and 19 dentists are facing charges in what is being described as a massive fraud that included doing unnecessary work, and then overbilling the state for the work.

State Attorney General Bill Lockyer says the dentists working at three clinics operated by Hatch Dental performed root canals and drilled for cavities on healthy teeth.

Lockyer says the dentists also filed false bills for Medi-Call patients, defrauding the state out of $4.5 million.

Hatch Dental operates clinics in Ceres, Stockton and Modesto.

The charges against its owner and 19 dentists include defrauding Medi-Call, workers´ compensation fraud, conspiracy, theft, child abuse, elder abuse and assault.