MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Murfreesboro dentist pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in federal court on Wednesday.
Richard "Nate" Schott has been a dentist for the last two decades but during a plea hearing on Wednesday, Schott shared his plan to sell his dental practice, Dental Excellence, which he owns and operates in Murfreesboro and Lebanon.
While Schott's dental license has already been suspended, he also disclosed during his hearing that he plans to surrender it officially in February.
In all, Schott swindled $932,839 from fraudulent billing practices. This is money he will now have to pay back according to his plea agreement. The former dentist will also have to pay restitution to his victims in addition to the almost 1 million dollars he owes the state.
Documents revealed that employees were discouraged from questioning billing practices and were encourages to lie to insurance companies. In addition, employees were instructed to tell patients that questioned false charges that a simple billing error had occurred and would be corrected.
Schott's sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 7. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Schott also claimed during the hearing that he is taking medication for bipolar disorder and depression which could potentially impact his sentencing.
Schott's former office assistant, Kendra Glenn, has been charged with seven counts of health care fraud and one count of conspiracy. She has yet to appear in court.